The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution says...
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.
The Second Amendment grants us the right to keep and bear arms. It also stipulates regulation as an element of that grant.
Of all the regulations currently being considered, a background check to ensure that prospective gun owners are not convicted felons and have the mental stability to keep and bear their weapons responsibly seems very reasonable to me. A ban on both high capacity ammunition magazines and semi-automatic weapons also seems reasonable to me.
Gun advocates tell us these weapons of mass slaughter are a necessity in order to maintain the “security of a free state.” Some of them will say even background checks are unacceptable, because an oppressive government will simply declare people they want to oppress to be mentally unstable. They tout the Second Amendment’s grant of the right to keep and bear arms, but regulation also called for in the Second Amendment… that is government oppression. Many gun advocates aren’t talking about some hypothetical future possibility… they believe government oppression is a very real and PRESENT danger. They cloak themselves in the Second Amendment saying they are protecting “the security of a free state” from an despotic government… but the nature of the conflict we have in this nation is NOT a conflict between average citizens and a despotic government, but a conflict between citizens who want reasonable common sense regulation of guns and others who want no regulation whatsoever. There is a big difference between a revolutionary war by the citizens of a country against an oppressive government, and a civil war between differing factions of that country’s citizens.
People who’ve abandoned all notion of compromise… living in a nation that looks, by virtue of majority rule, like it will not give them what they feel they absolutely must have… people who covet weapons of violent mass slaughter… people who are willing to consider armed conflict to get what they want… those people, I think, are the despots.