Mass Shootings – Part 2

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(Mass Shootings – Part 2)

The Second Amendment guarantees citizens the right to bear arms.

There is no definitive resolution by the courts of exactly how the Second Amendment should be interpreted. Historically, U.S. courts have held various interpretations of the Second Amendment, ranging from the perspective that this right lies only within government officials, to the viewpoint that this right also lies within individual citizens.

However, in a landmark case known as District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the U.S. Supreme Court explained that all citizens are the militia; the Second Amendment is an individual right, just like every other right protected in the Bill of Rights, and is independent of membership in any organized group or military unit.

It was the first Supreme Court case to decide whether the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

Nevertheless, even with all the restrictions to buy a firearm already on the books in most states, such as purchases and transfers including private party transactions and sales at gun shows, that must be made through a licensed dealer; $250,000 fines and five years in prison if you transfer a firearm on behalf of anyone who may not legally possess one; proof of good cause be demonstrated before you can lawfully carry a concealed weapon, frequent mass shootings continue to take place nationwide. 

The problem resides when not in a lack of controls by the government of who may purchase a firearm but of not knowing with any degree of certainty what is in the mind of the individuals acquiring these weapons.

As written in the first part of this article, buying a firearm should not be made easy, nor should it cost only the price of the gun.  Barring convicted felons, and other criminals forbidden from possessing firearms, extensive research into the buyer’s background is needed.  Nowhere in the second amendment does it say that knowing precisely the nature of the purchaser’s character is prohibited.

Authorization for an individual to purchase a firearm should come as a result of a thorough background check; the buyer should bear the cost of which.  A background check should go as far back as is determined by professionals in the field, to determine the individual’s history and predispositions and should be approved or denied based on the findings. 

Safety of our family, friends, and neighbors should be first and foremost in all our minds, and as voting citizens, we are obliged to influence our representatives in government to find a definitive solution to the mass killings that have become altogether commonplace in the United States.

A ten-day waiting period in most cases, as is presently required to possess a firearm is insufficient time to perform a comprehensive background check on gun buyers.  A whole new procedure is needed to weed out the deranged and potentially dangerous persons with a firearm in hand that requires only a slight push to put then over the ledge and start shooting innocent people. 

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