Are there “common sense” ways to restrict firearm sales, ownership, or carrying privileges that would make Americans safer?
No. When we take this stance instantly, it’s very easy for progressives (and even many conservatives) to declare that having such an unbending approach to firearms is untenable. Surely there must be restrictions imposed by the federal government that will keep citizens safer, right?
Wrong. One of the biggest errors made by those who call for federal intervention into gun rights is that Americans will be made safer if the “wrong” people are prevented from owning firearms. We’re hearing calls for people on “no fly lists” from being able to own firearms. We’re hearing about suspected enemies of the state being put on these lists. What’s worse is that we’re hearing the people express consent for such actions.
Flying is a privilege, which makes the “no fly lists” at least partially acceptable from a security perspective. However, the 2nd Amendment gives us a right to bear arms. To remove someone’s rights, they must be given due process. The state must prove that someone has relinquished their rights to own a firearm by being convicted of a felony.
Some may point to cases of mental illness as grounds to prevent a person from owning a firearm, and they would be right. However, this is where it gets tricky. Demonstrating mental stability and/or competence cannot be a prerequisite for owning a firearm. The law currently prohibits those who are adjudicated for mental incompetence or defects, those who have been committed to an institution, and anyone who has been hospitalized by court order for mental illness. Proposals for “psych tests” before someone can own a gun are absurd. It’s often stated by Republican politicians and candidates that we must focus on improving mental health standards in the country in order to help prevent gun violence. On the surface, this makes sense. However, it’s doing a great potential injustice by opening up the door to psychological screenings.
If someone is a felon or has been shown to be mentally ill, they should not be allowed to own a firearm. There doesn’t need to be background checks. It’s the digital age. Compiling a “no sale” list of felons and the mentally ill will allow for a quick and private check. That’s as far as a background check should go. There’s no need to check any law-abiding citizen’s background. Instead, plug in a name and a social security number into a secure website and sell guns to those who do not get pinged back. We have the technology. We can build it without taking away a single ounce of privacy or security from lawful Americans.
Every attempt to build “common sense” firearm restrictions has one purpose: changing the 2nd Amendment. Some say the left wants to put an end to the 2nd Amendment. They don’t. They want to fundamentally transform the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to meet their agenda. In the end, they want complete gun control. Every time we willfully crack that door open just a little, we’re enabling them to push it open further and further until they achieve their end game. We must stand firm on this issue. Without the 2nd Amendment, we lose our ability to defend all of the others.