Tuesday, April 24, 2007

U.S. Constitution & Vatican II

Ritzman Flag
Originally uploaded by mdt1960.
Just for the record: I own a .22 caliber handgun. I also own a 16-gauge shotgun, a Savage .410/.22 double barrel shotgun and rifle, a Marlin lever action .22 rifle and another .22 caliber rifle that I can't remember the manufacturer's name. Not that it matters, but four of these firearms were given to me. I purchased the handgun outright.

After the Virginia Tech Massacre, I'd gladly give them all up. I said the same thing after the shootings at Columbine too.

I'm not a hunter although I've envisioned myself as a bird hunter some day in the future when I have the time for such folly. Further, I don't believe these weapons serve as a deterrent from any criminal action that may find me since I don't keep them loaded, nor do I keep the ammunition for them in the same location.

Really, I don't need them, do I? Certainly not the hand gun.

Some have said that it's my right to possess a gun—a Constitutional right. I suppose. That made a lot more sense in the day of George Washington and a new-born and vulnerable country that didn't have a powerful army to defend itself. I'd like to think that George and other founders would be alarmed to know that today's average weapons are capable of firing 15 rounds in a semi-automatic mode and would therefore be disapproving of any American citizen wielding that kind of fury in a firearm. I guess we'll never know how far they intended that right to go.

In my mind it's high time to revisit our constitution and bring it up to date in a few areas—gun ownership specifics in particular. Even the Vatican Council had enough sense to make a few changes in Church doctrine over the last two centuries in order to keep up with the times. In the same spirit, our Constitution could use a little "freshening up" too—if nothing else, just to clear up a few of these 200-year-old ambiguities.

Gun ownership? Fine. How about a black-powder, single shot firearm? Not only will such firearm limitations/regulations prevent one of us from massacring everyone at a McDonald's during the lunch hour, but perhaps it will level out the playing field during the hunting season too.