Connecticut State Senate Passes Machine Gun Ban For Children Under 16

The Connecticut State Senate just passed a ban on machine guns for kids under 16 years of age. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass according to  MSNBC .

Ummm, are we kidding?  What kind of a society would let children under 16 handle any types of guns?   I mean seriously.  And this is Connecticut, not Podunk, USA.  It’s Connecticut, you know the state sandwiched between Boston and NYC.

"For a young person, a minor, to handle an automatic weapon … it’s like saying that it’s OK to pick up a rattlesnake and that it is somehow going to be safe," said Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn. "It’s not going to be safe and it should not be legal and I would think that a lot of folks would be shocked that there was not a law." Yes Mr. StateTheObvious, color me SHOCKED.  But, really, I have to say it again, why just "automatic weapons"?

Now, I don’t want to hear from another person who says "where I come from there is a long history of gun ownership"…  blah, blah, blah.  Well, so do I.  I come from New England, you know, where the Minute Men started (and I mean the real Minute Men, not the right wing whack jobs that "patrol" the border).  They used guns, and picked the fight with the British, and ya know what, I am glad they did.  And I am a fan of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.  Actually, I am fan of the whole Bill of Rights, and most especially of the Declaration of Independence (which wouldn’t have been possible without folks being willing to take up arms against, what I would call, a tyrannical government.

Specifically, the Second Amendment states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  However, the interpretation of the Second Amendment by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller , 554 U.S. 290 (2008) settled (wrongly I feel) the issue of the first half of the one sentence Second Amendment.  Prior to Heller the Court had ruled in United States v. Miller , 307 U.S. 174 (1939) in such a way that both sides felt it supported their argument, and the court had been loathe to rule again.  It wasn’t until the right wing Cato institute mounted the Heller suit that the now decidedly right leaning Court decided to rule.  The majority found that, "the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home."

The problem here is that their logic is faulty. Historically speaking, at the time that the Amendment was drafted a militia was not "the body of all citizens capable of military service", but, was in fact much more akin to our modern National Guard.  In other words, citizen soldiers, who agree to serve for a specific term and agree to drill and practice.  Therefore, and here my dear readers is the "punch line" to this farce of the right wing, the founders did not intend everyone to be able to have unrestricted access to weapons, but, instead wanted to preserve their ability to quickly call up moderately trained individuals quickly should the need arise by mobilizing the state militias.