Continuing my attempt to address more completely the issue of gun violence in America, this submission directly engages the opposition to gun control as an ingredient in any resolution.
That opposition is of two varieties. One constituency generally supports some reasonable limitations but is generically reluctant to significant restrictions. Another is adamantly opposed to any further qualifications. This second group is the constituency that comprises the activist core of the NRA and I would be naÃ¯ve to expect any support from this category. Most Americans are only wary to totally supportive of common sense impediments.
Critical to this discussion is the reality of the almost 300 million guns currently on our streets and in our homes. Further, hundreds of thousands of guns are being sold monthly and are being added to this total by those fearful of possible legislation.
Guns do not degrade quickly when receiving general maintenance. My parents purchased a .22 for me when I was young. It is still quite serviceable after almost 50 years and can still kill. Most of those 300 million guns will be in inventory for decades.
Secondly, even those of us who see some limitations as necessary recognize that Second Amendment guarantees to protect the rights of hunters and sportsmen are inherent in our culture.
Substantively, no restriction on clips would impact this constituency. A hunter that requires a 30-round clip is either critically flawed or is only interested in bringing home hamburger.
Thirdly, there are those who feel the Second Amendment is a guarantee protecting our right to armed insurrection. This subset demonstrates paranoia about our constitutional guarantee that fails to recognize that without tanks, APCs, fighter jets and other up-to-date military weaponry there is no possibility of a successful attempt to "overthrow" our government. Functionally, our forefathers designed our republic with the franchise and elections as the primary protections of our democracy.
Finally, any legislation capable of passing will likely consist of expansion of the background check program which currently does not address 40 percent of gun sales and other marginal inconveniences such as clip capacity and market restrictions as to the types of weapons available. We must ask ourselves whether the law-abiding citizenry is willing to accept using three clips instead of one to fire 30 rounds and whether all weapons regardless of design or function are legitimate in our marketplace.
Do 31,000 lives lost annually justify inconvenience?