Jenkins: Violet's solutions are unconstitutional

Jenkins: Violet's solutions are unconstitutional

Re: Reasonable Gun Reform Overdue 8/13/19: Misleading, Ineffective, and Unconstitutional

Ms. Violet is absolutely correct that our nation has a serious problem with violent crime and reforms are absolutely necessary. However, her descriptions are misleading and purposed solutions are ineffective and unconstitutional.

Background checks are already mandatory when purchasing from a licensed dealer whether you are at their store or at a gun show. Universal background checks are a myth. How many gang bangers are going to register their guns or undergo a background check? Murderers? Rapists? Zero. Yes, there is reasonable fear that the government will try to confiscate semi-automatic weapons; see the gun control plans of Democrats running for President in 2020. Mandatory buy backs with jail time for those who refuse.

“Assault weapons” is a nebulous term which has no set meaning but can largely be interpreted to mean a large-scale ban on semi-automatic weapons. Military styled is a vapid pejorative. The history of almost all weapons can be traced to the military. Thanks to our federalist system of government we do not need to theorize what the results of a ban would be. Just look to Baltimore, Md., or Chicago, Ill. They both have a ban on magazines over 10 rounds and “assault weapons.’’ Yet, they consistently rank among the most dangerous cities in the country. In 2018, Baltimore had 309 murders and Chicago had 561 murders. Yeah, let’s emulate them. The independent study directed by the DOJ on the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban concluded, “We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”

Furthermore, a large-scale ban on semi-automatic weapons is unconstitutional. As established in DC vs Heller the Supreme Court laid out a simple two-part test as to whether or not a gun is protected by the 2nd Amendment. First test, is the weapon in common usage. The AR-15, the evil black rifle the left fears, is the best-selling rifle in America and is owned by millions upon millions of Americans so yes it’s in common usage. Second test, does it have a legitimate purpose. Again, the answer is yes, self-defense, target shooting, and hunting are all legitimate reasons to own it. So, no you cannot ban it.

We must take steps to reduce gun violence in our nation. Start with fixing the background check system. It was designed to stop people with a criminal record from buying a gun. It was not created to and does a very poor job at stopping someone who is mentally ill. Next, excluding suicide, the majority of gun violence is committed by violent criminals with illegally owned handguns which is exactly why cities like Baltimore continue to suffer despite “strong” gun laws. Getting guns out of the hands of criminals and keeping violent criminals in prison has to be the centerpiece of any plan to reduce gun violence.

Phil Jenkins
Glocester