This paragraph is worth highlighting, from Jacqueline Tempera’s article last week in the Providence Journal, covering local politicians’ speeches to “about 100 students, teachers and activists” promoting gun control:
These are “easy votes” that should lead to tangible results, [Democrat Mayor of Providence Jorge] Elorza said. He took a shot at second amendment advocates, many of whom rallied at the State House last week to oppose the legislation.“Now the second amendment folks might say we are violating their second amendment rights to own and bear arms, but the truth is you cannot own anti-aircraft artillery. You can’t own a grenade launcher. You can’t own tanks,” he said
Those “second amendment folks” may be taking the lesson, recently. Elorza illustrates how precarious it is for gun-rights advocates to compromise, creating incentive to be increasingly absolutist.
As the mayor proves, each compromise will become justification for the next infringement. Civilians don’t need anti-aircraft artillery, grenade launchers, or tanks, so (the reasoning goes) they don’t need “military-style assault weapons.” Well, inasmuch as “military-style” is almost entirely an aesthetic description of how scary the gun looks, if second amendment advocates cede that ground in the debate, it won’t be long until other guns of similar functionality supposedly aren’t permitted. The steps will continue.
An objective, reasoned review of the matter suggests that we’re already well beyond what the Bill of Rights should allow, and increasing extremity on the gun-control side may very well be met with increased challenges to expand rights in the other direction, which no longer trusts that everybody is sincerely after a common sense middle ground.
The solution is to have a national debate that defines where the line should be through an Amendment to the Constitution.