Gun controls lack ‘common sense’

To the Editor:

The vast majority of gun control proposals seek to circumvent the Constitution’s due process protections. Proposals previously enacted obviously have not been a preventative. Unwilling to admit failure, supporters continue down the same errant path. However, the objective of controlling the gun, rather than the person, can never be constitutional or effective.

Consider: The ultimate recourse in personal and national defense is an armed citizenry. Historically, the grossest mass killing and slavery has been by governments against their unarmed citizenry, preceded by gun registration. Current mass killing have occurred in countries with the strictest of gun laws and all U.S. mass killings in the last 10 years have been in gun-free zones.

Nearly all recent mass homicides were by terrorists or the mentally ill, without detection or on any list. Even if gun purchase is prevented, they remain at large plotting by one of a multitude of other means to kill. The majority of other gun homicides are by the young involved in urban gangs, thefts or drug transactions (i.e., those intent on violating any law passed).

Few mental conditions truly increase the risk of major gun violence. Yet, military, VA and elderly social security recipients are added to lists by the hundreds of thousands and millions, without any due process, on a wide range of mental issues unconnected to higher risk of violence.

Other policies help fuel violence by raising the cost of employment or just doing business above the value of production (i.e. unprofitable), while prohibition of drugs increases the value obtained by violence in the drug business. Many programs engender the breakdown of families, normal parental controls, personal responsibility, moral integrity or targeting of urban high crime areas by law enforcement.

"Common sense" laws target violent people, rather than inanimate objects, and change other contributing and enabling policies. "Common sense" laws develop limited narrowly-defined lists of people through probable cause and due process, rather than gathering mammoth databases on every purchaser of guns and ammunition without constitutional processes. People restricted from constitutional rights must be legally determined to be plotting felonies or mentally incompetent (i.e. fundamentally violent).

The fundamental controversy is between those who wish universal political control of all citizens, unconstitutionally and without justice, and those who desire specific limited constitutional judicial control of the few violent people. Universal political control is always the means to control one’s political adversaries, not the criminal.

Eldon L. Rash