Apparently, that is no longer the case.
In the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the murders of six others last month in Tucson, Ariz., there has been a call for a return of the same kind of sensible ban of assault weapons that the Bush administration allowed to expire.
Though it seems likely there will be an effort in upcoming months to reinstate the assault weapons ban, and to eliminate the type of magazine that allowed Jared Loughner to get off several more rounds before he was finally subdued, odds are nothing will come of it.
Those types of much-needed reform would not make one bit of difference as far as Americans' Second Amendment rights are concerned. It would not affect the type of weaponry a person would need to protect his or her home. Americans could still exercise their constitutional rights.
However, that is not the message the National Rifle Association has been pushing. The following passage is taken from the Washington magazine, The Hill, concerning a speech made last week:
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president and CEO, lashed out at supporters of tighter gun control laws in the wake of the attack on Giffords in Tucson, and said that existing gun regulations had only failed.The National Rifle Association has made a habit over the last decade or so of creating a new crisis, almost always fictitious, based on the idea that someone is lurking around every corner trying to take away the guns of peaceful citizens.
"If Tucson told us anything, it told us this: government failed," LaPierre said in a speech Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
"When they tell you that a government ban on certain guns or magazines will stop violence, don't you buy it, not for one second," LaPierre said.
Each crisis gets the dues pouring in. One such crisis brought about a series of so-called Castle Doctrine laws, which gave people rights they already had to protect their lives and property. No one was ever able to show a case in which the Castle Doctrine was necessary, but that didn't stop politicians from treating it like it was the most important ruling for gun rights that ever came down the pike.
Now, at a time when we should be having rational discussions about the type of weaponry that no one outside of the military needs, (and especially not for protection), Wayne LaPierre and his organization are back to their old tricks.
To LaPierre and those who hang on his every word, it is never about the weapons, it is always about big government wanting to sneak into your bedrooms and liberate your guns while you are sleeping.
That is simply not going to happen. Law-abiding citizens are going to be allowed to keep their guns. Recent U. S. Supreme Court rulings have made that clear. But our nation's highest court has yet to say that the Second Amendment gives a person the right to own any kind of weapon he wants.
Hopefully, considering the Tucson shootings, that will never be the case.