The Second Amendment
I am strong supporter of the second amendment, however, both major political parties seem unable to recognize its actual text as written in the constitution:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
This piece of the bill of rights is often misquoted, and its context is never explained. This law came about in a time where there was no police force, and America had a small standing army for defense only, which relied heavily on local militias due to a lack of any funding. Militias were often called together during this time period to clear natives off land in order to expand and settle new territories, or to defend ones land and family in a time where there were no phones and no police force.
I believe in Freedom
Just as it is your right to consume alcohol and tobacco, which I believe should be expanded to all drugs, it is your right to bare arms. We clearly draw a line here as the common person is not allowed to willy nilly buy high explosives, tanks, or military grade aircraft. For assault weapons, I believe that members of well regulated militia groups should have the right to own and equip their members with military grade, semi-automatic assault weapons with pistol grips, retractable stocks, barrel shrouds, bayonet clips, and detachable magazines; citizens, in their own private capacity, should not be able to own assault weapons with any of these specifications.
What does "Well Regulated" mean?
All such firearms must be registered with a government body. All members must be subject to a Universal background check which checks every police data base, FBI data base, and military data base for past criminal activity, signs of dangerous mental instability, and changes in the usage of any class of psychotropic drugs. These checks should be automatically repeated on a recurring basis. The government is responsible for compiling, maintaining, updating, and providing access to these databases electronically. I would like to provide emphasis on DANGEROUS mental instability, not simply struggles with being "forgetful" or mental illnesses which are not proven to increase ones propensity toward violence. They must kept under lock and key at a centralized location(s). There must be an electronic logging system to track and communicate with local law enforcement who and when is checking out and returning said weapons. This is exclusively to ensure that both the militia is monitoring the use of their own firearms and that a second independent body is able to monitor their use. This provision must explicitly state that law enforcement cannot act to prevent the checking out of any firearms unless there is information which can be provided to the public that there is a suspicion of said firearms being used for criminal purposes. That provision would have prevented the Parkland shooter from checking out a firearm because the police or FBI would have been required to report the allegations made by the community to the militia which would then be required by law to prevent the shooter from checking out any firearms. Both local law enforcement and the militia would be required to prevent the shooter from checking out a firearm. Gun stores which rent these weapons for range use would be subject to a similar process.
Many will point out, and are correct in doing so, that the vast majority of gun violence is performed with handguns; specifically illegal handguns. A large amount of handgun violence is self inflicted, suicide; and no country has shown that banning guns has any effect on suicide rates. Only a small amount of gun violence is performed with legally acquired firearms. This can be limited by simply implementing a similar regulations for firearm sale and use as for auto sale and use. Every gun should have a registration, and every sale should be filed with the state government subject for approval based on licensing requirements. In order to own a handgun for personal use, one must also be licensed with the state government in the same way drivers must be licensed. Unlike how a driver's license is not required for the purchase of a car, a license should be required prior to the approval of any firearm purchase. Due to the entire background check system being electronic, any changes to any license holders status can be immediately updated. When status changes occur, one of two events will be triggered. If the status change is the result of a medical diagnosis; significant change to medicine, such as beginning or ending the use of psychotropic drugs; or a probationary period following law enforcement intervention the weapon owner will be given a choice: Either the weapon can be held for a specified period of time by local law enforcement at no cost to the individual, or it can be sold to the state government for the original retail price paid for the firearm. This decision would be made by the individual Any status change that would permanently prevent an individual from owning a firearm will result in confiscation and compensation for original retail price paid for the firearm. Purchase prices would be recorded in each firearm's registration and subject to court challenge to prevent misuse of this policy. Firearms will only be able to be passed along through inheritance if the inheritor has a license; otherwise they will be bought at original retail sale price by the state government. Antique firearms will not require a license, however, those without a license will not be able to purchase ammo for these weapons outside of firearm ranges for immediate use.
Universal Buy Back Program
The government should encourage individuals to take firearms off the market through a firearm buy back program. At any time, any individual should be able to sell their firearms to the state government for original retail price. The government will NOT buy back antique firearms. Due to the different licensing requirements, these will have to be sold to private dealers. The buy back program will include the buy back of unused ammunition as well.
Ammo Regulation and Bulk Purchase Regulation
Individuals will be limited to one firearm purchase per month, each purchase subject to a minimum 3 day waiting period. Outside of gun ranges, ammo purchases will limited on a per month basis. Ammo sales will be on a per household basis, not per gun and not per individual. Special permission to buy additional ammo will be made for those with hunting permits, subject to proof of performing the actual hunting activities performed. Those who pursue hobby shooting will be able to exchange empty shells for the ability to purchase more ammo above the monthly allowed limit. This allows hobby shooter to "bank" shells and make larger purchases, contingent on proof of routine use. In order to avoid overcharging for ammo at gun ranges, the government will facilitate a program where consumers can purchase an unlimited amount of ammo to be delivered directly to registered gun ranges and held for the individual. This ammo will not able allowed to be removed from the gun range by any individual. No individual will be allowed to purchase ammo for a firearm they do not have registered to themselves. All private sales of ammo will be illegal.
The hope is simply this, with proper regulation of weapon sales; the flow of guns onto the illegal marketplace will be stemmed. Those who do acquire illegal firearms will find it extremely difficult to acquire ammunition with regulation of ammunition sales. It is impossible to completely stop all illegal market dealings but these basic regulations will make it much more difficult. Increased civilian monitoring of police will be need to stem the trickle of confiscated firearms getting back out onto the illegal market. Drone monitoring of US borders will stem the trickle of illegal weapons crossing both the Canadian and Mexican borders. None of these actions will solve the problem of gun violence on their own. Each component is a factor, and each can help to reduce gun violence, but only comprehensive reform will truly solve the problem.