Saturday, March 26, 2016

Controlling weapons in the 21st century

Individual freedoms and liberty in general are worth fighting for--is a constant theme which indicates that defense of same can require such. The use of weapons in defense of liberty is not controversial if that is the actuality. So in self-defense of person or national defense against aggressor it is hardly problematic if weapons are used if available.

The US Constitution addresses weapons in the Bill of Rights with the 2nd Amendment:

"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."

While many seem to think "Arms" should be read as guns, as guns were known at the time of the writing, and "arms" is far more general, it makes more sense that arms in general with weapons as a synonym were intended.

Now consider a community tasked with its own defense, for instance if suddenly set upon by outlaws, and members of the community united in that defense using whatever weapons were available. Am sure no one would see that as problematic.

Now imagine a community where rogue police officers set upon the citizens and try to take over the town, am certain its population would welcome their disarmament!

The "security of a free State" seems critical, and if the protection is a self-defense then that flows from the individual up to the State itself, as a community united, where conflict in that regard would lean towards the State.

That individual rights and liberty are important when in pursuit of the greater good, would then indicate that if the State were taken over by hostile forces, so that it was at harm to itself, and its own principles, as embodied within the US Constitution, then individuals in defense of self would in actuality be acting in defense of the State at its best self when taking up arms against attacks on their liberty.

Thus then individuals have the right under the US Constitution to defend against internal tyranny even if official in nature, or from officials, like with the example of rogue police already given.

That good citizens have the right to have weapons is then seen as part of the security of a free State, and in our modern times can extend beyond what was true then, as for instance computer systems require defense. Then it would seem clear that American citizens are empowered under the US Constitution to have cyberdefenses, including cyberweapons, for their own use in self-defense. And can in fact use such weapons as required for their own defense and the defense of the State at its best self.

There is then NO defense of use of weapons for those acting against the State at its best self, and the State can of course deprive them of same, if their intent is to do harm to the United States of America or at a lesser level communities that make it up.

Proving intent to do harm should be a substantial burden on the State so that it is not used by corrupt officials to try and deprive citizens of their right to self-defense or by negligence or short-sightedness on the part of any US Government or state or local agency.

Intent to use any weapon to do harm can be accepted as a point of decision by established authority as to whether that intent is in keeping with the security of a free State.

For instance, if someone legally purchasing a weapon is simply asked whether or not, intends to do harm with that weapon, the answer can be used to determine whether or not access should be given, without contravening the spirit and letter of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.

Weapons have been a part of human life as long as there have been humans. And weapons control is crucial to human civilization in maintaining a secure state where citizens are both free, and capable of defending that precious freedom.

Weapons control legislation should not be a point of contention for those dedicated to the security of their nation, but an arena of pride in the robustness of a US Constitution which manages to continue to defend us, even as our technological world moves ever forward.

James Harris
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