Malice wrote:Basically, if somebody had taken away Jared Loughner's gun license, this thread might have been the story of how some nutball got arrested trying to buy a black-market gun, or it might have been the story of how two people were stabbed nonfatally in front of Congresswoman Giffords, but it probably wouldn't have been the story of six deaths and fourteen injuries.
Jared Loughner didn't have a gun license and didn't require one. There's no such regulation in Arizona and there never has been.
I'm not saying that some restrictions on freedom are not necessary. I'm saying that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right
in the United States. As of last year, it has been incorporated against the States via the Fourteenth Amendment
. It has the same constitutional protection as freedom of speech. It shouldn't be easy to ristrict the exercise of one's right to keep and bear arms. It was too easy in this case.
Would you be cool with it if all the government had to do to limit your freedom of speech was suspend a license? A license they don't even have to grant you in the first place, the issuance of which is entirely up to the policies of your local chief of police or sheriff? Maybe it'll be a graduated license. It'll be easy to get one if all you want to do is talk about sports, but if you want to talk about politics or religion you need to get a Class A License to Offend
, for which you need to show cause and take an anger management class. And even then you can't use hate speech or any words that aren't on the Massachusetts Approved Diction Roster.
You can get one without trouble in the suburbs, but in Boston you had better be a professional journalist or, well, I guess you won't be talking about politics because the Chief of Police there is a hardass who thinks only the Right People need the freedom of speech. If you get caught spouting off about the Governor without a license that's a felony
. Does that sound like an individual right with constitutional protection to you? Oh, never mind. Of course speech isn't dangerous
Bakemaster wrote:You have a problem with the idea that weapons make people dangerous?
Weapons are tools. People are dangerous. Do you think this guy couldn't kill a politician with a knife
? Or his bare hands? Or a bat? Or a big stick? Piano wire? A car? If he's a threat, he's a threat with or without his guns. Even right now, I bet you that it's trivially easy to get within stabbing distance of a congressperson. I don't think the police are taking this threat seriously if all they did was take away his guns.