KFR offered a post today about which I have distinct opinions that I will now offer:
Like KFR, I too love my civil liberties* and would note that under the current administration, they are in danger.
I hold the liberty from government surveillance closer to my heart than the liberty to own and discharge fire arms as I see fit. As it turns out, I support restrictions on the latter liberty. Indeed, I would feel safer with distinct, enforced restrictions. (By the by, it is easier to buy a gun in this country than to buy liquor.)
(*including the liberty that the Supreme Court today decided I - as a woman - am not to be entrusted with.)
Here's some thoughts on this incident and ineffective and insufficient efforts at "gun control."
So, the VT gunman was involuntarily committed for psychological evaluation about a year ago. This should have prevented him from obtaining a gun (provided he bought it after this event).
A commenter on NPR (I will link to the article when I find it) raised some very good points about how VT can happen elsewhere in the US. He noted that countries with universal health care are better equipped to offer counseling and treatment to people who are depressed, suicidal, or unable to control their rage (and these people know that they can seek medical care). These same countries also have stricter gun control. But in the US - as Le Monde put it best - guns are readily available and owners are encouraged to use them. This says, in essence, if you feel dis-ease, a gun can solve your problems.
As for gun ownership as a civil liberty, this is one of the most warped of the various warped interpretations of the Constitution, so let us go there: Amendment 2 (1791) says
"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."
Everyone seems to forget about the "well regulated militia" part. This asserted that each state - and village - needed to have an internal, organized militia for protection from the British or Indian nations or slave insurrections, etc. (Recall that not all Americans enjoyed this "liberty" - it was reserved for specific groups.) Also, remember the young nation did not have a national militia (i.e. a national army) because this would have put too much power under the control of the president who - like King George - might have used it against Americans. Private ownership of guns, then, was a matter of national defense. Recall - we now have a standing national army thus negating the intent behind good-old No. 2. I also want to note that a concentration of arms is the same reason that this amendment was not intend for private individuals to stock pile weapons - as modern promoters of this liberty will have us believe. Three years after the passage of this amendment, Pres. Washington led an army (composed of state militias) against up-country Pennsylvania residents who - instead of mustering their arms in defense of the nation - mustered them against the new Constitutional government. This internal threat to the fledgling republic was consistent and palpable in the 18th and early 19th centuries. I can say with confidence that the drafters of the Constitution did not intend for just any private American citizen to "keep and bear arms" because this posed too much of a threat to the consolidation of power and money that they were trying to effect under their pretty new government. By the way, this is the context and intent that the dicktard Supreme Court Justices who claim to be constitutional originalists conveniently forget about.
For the moment.