In explaining why I believe that access to firearms should be extremely limited, I must start with the fact that the Heller case was wrongly decided and represents a departure from 100 years of precedent. I believe that the intention of the 2nd Amendment was to prevent the Federal government from interfering with the states' ability to form "well-regulated militia." Even given the Heller decision, so far the right to bear arms has only been extended to an individual's right to keep a gun at home for self defense.

Secondly, I would point out that no right in the Constitution is absolute. All rights are attenuated when they endanger others or society as a whole. Freedom of the Press is balanced against libel. Freedom of Speech is balanced against inciting violence, making false claims in advertising, and other restrictions. Freedom of Religion does not extend to animal sacrifice nor child endangerment.

The statistical evidence is clear that more guns correlates to more gun violence. States with stronger gun laws on the whole experience less gun violence than states with weaker gun laws.

Given all of the above, I say it is not only within the government's power but actually the government's duty to protect its citizenry by severely limiting access to firearms. By this I mean that a legitimate need for a gun should be demonstrated before someone can purchase and own one. Those legitimate needs would include self-defense and recreational hunting. However, anything that falls outside these needs could and should be made illegal. That would include ARs, semi-automatic weapons of any kind, specialized ammunition like fragmentation bullets and armor-piercing bullets, and much more.

I would also require training before being permitted to own a gun and that the training be maintained periodically. If certain guns that might be banned were considered "collectables" they would need to be permanently disabled. I would consider shooting clubs as places where otherwise banned guns may be kept by their owners for recreational use under restricted conditions.

In all of these ways, I would like my party and like-minded progressives to stand up to the NRA. To stop introducing every speech about gun violence with, "I support the 2nd Amendment," or, "I'm a gun owner myself." There are legitimate needs and uses for firearms, but the organization that originally was about education and safety is now an advocate of insanity.

Failing this, I make the final argument to "originalists" that they should be intellectually consistent -- any gun invented after the passage of the 2nd Amendment is not covered by it.

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