Not A License For Craziness
Why that principle hasn't been applied to the 2nd Amendment seems to me a failure of logic, experience and good judgement. Having toted and used the most lethal weapons of my generation during my 13-month hitch as a Marine in Vietnam, I'm no stranger to the genre of firearms. Nor am I a stranger to their purposes and value in civilian life. Gun ownership is an embedded part of our lives in this country, a principle that I have no trouble supporting. I recall a close relative of mine who began carrying a handgun after a woman was raped in the underground parking garage of his upscale condominium. Who can't condone the sense of security that comes with a decision like that? I also appreciate that a lot of people simply enjoy the sport of shooting, along with the history, the mechanics and the aesthetics of guns and rifles. And of course there are those who hunt with firearms, a sturdy community of good citizens who also happen to support many of our wildlife conservation programs through their hunting license fees. They're also damn good for business, as I and my peers in the lodging industry will be quick to affirm.
Then along came Las Vegas, which reminds us that a fondness for that guaranteed right to bear arms has occasionally morphed into a bloody and violent freak show. The Vegas madman Stephen Paddock had an arsenal far above and beyond the needs of any rational gun owner. News reports say that police found 43 firearms and several thousand rounds of ammunition in searches of his home and the hotel room where he went berserk. They were all obtained legally and some were apparently modified to make them simulate automatic gunfire. The crowning absurdity is that all of this was in keeping with laws in the books in Nevada.
The framers of the Constitution couldn't possibly have had this in mind when they guaranteed Americans their right to bear arms, but we've gotten to this place and there's no turning back. Mass killings are impossible to prevent. Just the same, gun rights can co-exist with gun control that's designed to make things more difficult for determined and deranged people to obtain weapons in the quantities that Paddock possessed. Constitutional rights are one thing, Constitutionally sanctioned insanity is another.