Ken Dean wrote an editorial this past weekend discussing the importance of young voices in the continuing dialogue of gun violence in our society.
Dean reminds me of the fervent youth who spoke out against the Vietnam War, the continual rise in cost of higher education, and gun control as a means to protect school children.
Dean openly states he “firmly believes in our Constitution’s Second Amendment and the right to bear arms—a position he immediately contradicts when he says, “I also firmly believe in gun control.”
All too often, pundits try to gain favor by suggesting they support a constitutional right, and then proving they do not.
I sincerely believe you cannot be a supporter of the Second Amendment if you believe in gun control for every person in this country—law-abiding or not.
Additionally, if you are claiming the AR-15 is a weapon of war (as Dean does), why does law enforcement have them?
Are the police at war with the public? Or are you propagating the belief that law enforcement should be equipped like the military, but those who would be in a militia (the citizenry) should not?
Please review some history texts to understand that a “well-regulated militia” had nothing to do with a government dictating what munitions people maintained, but to limit the government’s control over the militia (i.e. people with arms who were not in the military).
Dean ends his letter with a two-part question: “What logic is there for a person not having to wait 10 days to be checked out or 21 years of age to purchase a gun?”
The Second Amendment (as cemented in the Heller decision) secured the right of an individual to keep and bear arms for self-defense, while making no mention of a waiting period or age restriction.
The ten-day waiting period was passed in 1996 in California, and was done so as a “feel good” measure to allow someone with criminal intent a “cooling off period,” so they would not be so incensed to commit their violent act once receiving a firearm.
I have yet to see real statistical evidence that a waiting period reduces violence overall.
Sadly, many courts here in California have accepted the infringement of our constitutional rights for so-called “good reasons.”
Recently, the Supreme Court refused to hear the Ninth Circuit case (Silvester v. Harris) which challenged California’s ten-day waiting period for people who already own firearms, claiming the State simply needs to think it will protect a state’s interest (even with no factual proof), and would therefore be constitutional.
By such jaded logic, the state could say people cannot assemble anymore because it will protect their interest for reducing mass shootings—I mean, if you cannot gather in groups, then mass murders would decrease right?
What about this very common situation, a single mom whose abusive ex-husband threatens her life?
She goes to buy a firearm for self-defense but has to wait ten days?
You can argue a restraining order is all she really needs, but the reality most will not accept, is a piece of paper will not stop someone from causing harm. We should worry more about protecting the innocent who would use their rights lawfully, and not the baseless notion that ten days will keep someone from performing a criminal act with a firearm, especially when you take into account the overwhelming majority of firearm owners are responsible law-abiding citizens.
This is evidenced by the sheer number of privately owned firearms in the U.S., which is estimated to be between 250-340 million firearms.
Finally, Dean states it is illogical for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase a gun.
In his letter, Dean hopes that 18-year-olds will “…register to vote and use their constitutional right to not only use their voice, but also their vote to turn action into reality.”
Dean believes 18-year-olds are mature enough to vote to strip all of 18-20-year olds of their rights, but they are not mature enough to own firearms.
We all know how well criminals and crazies follow the law, so let’s hope that these “gun-free” 18-20-year-olds who find themselves defending their lives someday have the militarized police force within earshot, since calling for help will be the only option left to them by Dean and the Left—at least until they are more mature.
Jason Gibbs is a Santa Clarita resident.