Sun 29 Jun, 2008 09:19 pm
Hubert H. Humphrey, a man who defined liberal Democratic politics in the mid-1960s
had this to say on the subject of civilian possession of guns:
"Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government,
no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens
to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be
carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not
be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizens to bear arms is just
one guarantee against a tyranny which now appears remote in America,
but which historically has proved to be always possible."
Words of wisdom.
That's what most Democrats still are saying, David.
Glad to hear that from Humphrey,
glad to hear it from u,
and glad to hear it from the USSC
in HELLER and quite a few other cases.
I have never said Outlaw all guns; just regulate them as you would any other dangerous object.
Some regulation is absolutely good. The question is how much and what kind. Two factors to consider are that:
(1) The government doesn't grant rights to the people. The rights are inherent. The government can do no more than impose reasonable controls that the Founders themselves would have been likely to agree were consistent with the right to bear arms.
(2) One of the many reasons people must be allowed to have guns is to defend themselves against an abusive government, which means that the government cannot have very much say in the process. Anyone who doubts that this is one of the reasons the Founders wanted us to be armed need only read the Declaration, which explicitly instructs the people to "throw off" a despotic government.
My feeling is that the proper role of the government in the process is mainly to keep guns out of the hands of felons and insane people.