Monday, December 03, 2007

Aiming At Guns

Sunday's, 12/2/07, Detroit Free Press had an editorial titled "Safety first on guns" by editorial page editor Ron Dzwonkowski. He is calling for the establishment of a national list of gun owners. His main argument is:
It makes sense to me that police should have access to a national database of gun owners. If I'm rolling up to a house where there's a reported burglary in progress or some kind of assault going on, I'd want to know if guns are registered for the premises. Wouldn't that advance warning protect gun owners, too, from police reacting badly to the presence of a firearm? Seems as if it'd be safer for both. (In Michigan, police can run a computer check to see if a person has a permit to carry a firearm, if they have a name; license plate checks for vehicle ownership do not include such information)
[um, I thought license plate checks revealed a name which can then be checked for ccw--ME]
This has to be one of the inanest arguments for a national list I've ever heard. First, I don't think there is a cop in his right mind who, upon discovering no gun was registered to a given house, would enter that house on that assumption. Second, Mr. Dzwonkowski points out that there are an estimated 240 million guns in homes in America. Cops cannot fail to know this. Any cop who thinks he will be safer with a national list of owners won't be safe for long. Third, criminals usually have unregistered guns precisely so they can't be traced to them. A gun owners list will not provide an iota of safety from real criminals. I know that domestic violence cases are often very dangerous for police but an owners list will not alleviate that one bit, unless the gun is removed before the DV crime is committed and that is the real point isn't it.

This is nothing but an attempt to get all guns registered which will be an aid to any attempt to confiscate them. Using harmless sounding words and phrases like "But nobody's allowed to keep a list of who's armed" (poor oppressed government) and "...not even for police-eyes only..." (can't we even have a peek?) Mr. Dzwonkowski is trying to couch this as a harmless little list for police-eyes only which will simply be used for police safety. Right! If you can believe that....

This editorial does have merit though. It shows how a principle (like letting the government keep records on you) once adopted even only partly, grows by its own merit until it is applied entirely or is repudiated entirely. Mr. Dzwonkowski reminds us of the extent to which we have already adopted the above principle so why not let it expand a teensy bit more?
Yet government agencies keep records of your driving habits and vehicle ownerships, of births and address changes, can get at records of your phone and credit card use and, soon enough I'm sure, will have basic medical information about you on a central computer.

But only you get to know if there's a gun in your house. Should the police ever roll up in an emergency, might be a good idea to let them know it's there, and that it's legal.
"But only you get to know if there's a gun in your house." Yep, and that's the way I want to keep it.

He seems to be of the opinion that SCOTUS will rule next year on Washington DC's effort to ban handguns in favor of the individual and not state militias but that guns will be 'well regulated' "sparing us a national war over disarmament" which disarmament he obviously prefers.

Of course the Court should rule that the 2nd Amendment applies to the individual and not state militias. When you consider that a proper government must have a monopoly on the retaliatory use of force, therefore it must have guns, and that a state militia is a government entity, to say that the 2nd Amendment applies to militias would be saying that the government must have the right to keep and bear arms, a ridiculous redundancy. The right of the people to keep and bear arms can have no other meaning than individual human beings.

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