The Constitution of the United States of America is a contract that defines the structure of the governing of this nation, as well as defining the basic rights of its citizens. All legislation and policies of the federal government derive their power from this contract, and as such are limited to the directives thereof. This is not a "living, breathing" document that needs re-interpretation with the times, or changing social structures - instead it includes a built-in mechanism for making contractual changes when necessary - such as the 13th and 14th Amendments for civil rights, and the 19th to grant women the right to vote.
I stand firm in my commitment to support this "pact" with the American people.
One of the most charged and debated sections of the constitution is related to the second amendment within the Bill of Rights, which states (in the most commonly used version) that:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed
Most supporters hold that it guarantees all citizens the right to own firearms, period. Others argue that the world is a different place and that there are circumstances that the authors of that contract did not consider, and this requires regulation or even (at the most extreme) abolishment of, if not all, then some types of firearms.
For my part, I support the strict definition of this text and affirm my commitment to honor the rights this amendment grants to Americans - at the same time, we have to acknowledge that there is a problem in the U.S. in regards to increased gun violence, and the devastating impacts this has on our friends and family.
The phrase "Common Sense" gun control, to me, advocates for nothing other than responsible gun ownership, something once championed by the NRA, and of which I doubt many can find an issue with. Therefore the question that this presents is what constitutes "responsible" gun ownership, and is it possible for laws and regulations to enact the kind of changes many Americans are yearning for, in order to feel safe and secure; that they need not worry about their loved ones becoming victims of gun violence.
Below are a few of the concepts that I am currently willing to support :
- Universal Background checks - We should be restricting the sale of firearms to anyone that has been convicted of a violent crime, reported domestic abuse, or serious mental health issue
- Universal, in this case, means that any "database" of individuals that are prohibited from gun ownership be shared amongst all of the States
- In addition, the list needs to be updated periodically to ensure that individuals whose rights are returned are removed from the list
- "Red Flag" laws - but there needs to be a workable appeal process, or an investigation process, in order to reduce spurious claims
- Any transfer of a firearm should be performed by an authorized individual
- There has been legislation introduced in the past to raise the age where one can purchase a gun to 21. My only argument here is that in general, the 2nd amendment should pertain to anyone of legal voting age.
I might be willing to consider a limit on the number of rounds a single magazine can hold, but this would require more data from appropriate studies, as well as more realistic limitations proposed (current views of no larger than 10 rounds is ridiculous for anything other than maybe a smaller pistol).
I am imminently against the idea of requiring some form of insurance, mandatory psychological evaluations or reporting how and where your firearms/ammunition are stored.