Posted: 05/14/14 00:38
by Dave Mindeman
The Minnesota legislature finally broke through and passed a common sense gun law
. The new regulation is summed up this way:Minnesota already prevents convicted domestic abusers from owning handguns. The bill would broaden those restrictions to include rifles and any other firearms. It also would prohibit anyone subject to a temporary protective order from having a firearm. The measure would allow those weapons to be turned over to a friend or relative while the order is in effect.
Although this law makes perfect sense, it had to go through an enormous amount of vetting and scrutiny. However, it looks like it will become law.
Although this issue is finally moving forward, there are a lot of ideas on guns out there that continue to make other gun issues so hard to deal with.
The constant mistrust of government involvement. The fear of any regulation as a conspiracy or plot. The paranoid idea that taking matters into your own hands is better than leaving it up to the proper authorities.
Case in point. Mitch Berg at Shot in the Dark has a post which is a perfect example. Using the Second Amendment as his cover, he writes about Mexico
and its vigilante "heroes". Citizen militias have been winning parts of Mexico back from the narcotraficantes. To do this, they've broken what pass for "the rules"; they've fought violence with violence; they've used weapons that are utterly illegal in Mexico (assault rifles, obtained by the same illegal means that people always use to obtain guns where guns are banned). And it's worked.
I guess that means, essentially, that there is no law. "The rules" are the laws of Mexico and we are talking about citizens ignoring those laws and ignoring the elected government. Fighting violence with violence is encouraged and applauded.
These vigilante groups want the government to stay out of it. They want a way of life that even the "Old West' mentality would cringe at.
Yes, Mexico has an out of control situation. And yes, the government has been incompetent - made worse by a culture of insane bribery and corruption that cannot protect the average citizen.
But given all that, if there is no attempt to use proper legal means to fix this, then how in the world can innocent people (people uncomfortable with brandishing weapons as a means necessary for normal daily life) be protected at all? Is Mexico going to go back to a feudal system. Small protectorates that are essentially gangs fighting other gangs - where might makes right.
What is disturbing about all of it is the "admiration" of this situation - as if this is some prime example of why we need a Second Amendment in America. Berg seems to believe that there is some kind of correlation between this Mexican chaos and what is happening in the US.
Berg sums it up this way:This is precisely why the Second Amendment is, and must always be, a right of the people; because government at best is modestly capable of doing the right thing, and at worst is as bad as or worse than the problem, when it isn't itself the problem.
So when we try to enact common sense gun laws in a country, our country, that still believes in the rule of law - we are, somehow infringing on a made up right to ignore our government's regulations if some of us do not believe they are adequate for our own interpretation of our own protection. Is that the idea here?
The right to bear arms does not give us a right to ignore laws we may not agree with. The right to bear arms is not some right to a shadow government. The right to bear arms does not supersede courts and law enforcement.
Nobody is taking guns away from anyone. But if owning guns for some, is more important than the legal protections of everyone else, then we might as well become Mexico - and hope we don't get caught in the crossfire.