McClellan: The second amendment has never been absolute, so why now? - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

McClellan: The second amendment has never been absolute, so why now?

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Mike McClellan is a Gilbert resident and former English teacher at Dobson High School in Mesa.

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:46 am | Updated: 5:27 pm, Tue Jun 18, 2013.

So the President released his list of executive orders and suggested legislation last week — nothing surprising there, given the President’s previous comments. None of them will stop a madman from killing. Even the President recognizes that. But they might diminish the amount of carnage the madman can inflict. And if we’re lucky, might even prevent him from carrying out his murders.

But the President didn’t surprise us with his plans. And nothing surprising in his opponents’ reactions to those plans.

Apparently, according to those opponents, Obama is interfering with our “God-given rights” to own guns.

From Texas Congressman Steve Stockman (who’s threatened to introduce impeachment articles against Obama):

“He [Stockman] condemned what he described as Obama’s ‘anti-gun sneak attack’ and promised a legislative battle to protect ‘the God-given right to keep and bear arms.’

Local pols echoed this. Congressman Paul Gosar “said the president launched an ‘attack on personal gun ownership, the Second Amendment and our God-given rights.’”

And the appropriately-named state senator Don Shooter chimed in with this nugget:

“He’s governing like Caesar Augustus or Adolf Hitler. This is just more insanity and tyranny from Washington, when what we need to be doing is taking a real, hard look at our mental-health system.”

Even House Speaker Andy Tobin believes that Obama’s proposals “infringe on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens for his own political aggrandizement.”

Okay, so let’s agree with these guys. We have a God-given right to own the weapons of our choice. Which leads me to this question: Why can’t I own a machine gun? Why are those illegal? After all, if the Second Amendment is as absolute as these folks above and others believe, shouldn’t I be able to keep a machine gun at home? Talk about protection.

If someone breaks into my home and I have my Tommy gun at the bedside, I don’t need to be a sharpshooter to nail him — I’ll just send a spray of bullets in the general direction and get the intruder.

In fact, I can own a machine gun. As long as it was in circulation prior to 1986, when the private ownership of new machine guns was outlawed, in a bill signed into law by ... President Reagan. And I meet the many requirement the 1986 law created. And I live in a state that doesn’t prohibit it (Rats! Arizona prohibits the private ownership of machine guns).

So I hope Rep. Gosar at the federal level and Sen. Shooter at the state level introduce bills to relax restrictions on machine guns.

After all, those weapons are just more efficient in volume of bullets fired than what currently is legal. And if owning guns is a “God-given right,” then I assume the God-fearing Gosar and Shooter would do nothing to inhibit my right to own a Tommy gun.

Or are those weapons too efficient, too deadly, even for Gosar, Shooter, et. al.? And if so, why isn’t a semi-automatic weapon with a 900-round barrel magazine like the one the Aurora shooter used? Are the deaths from a semi-automatic rifle acceptable but not from a machine gun? Are rifles that fire up to 400 rounds a minute safer than the machine gun that can fire up to 1200 round a minute?

I’d like to hear their answers.

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