Gun owners truly have nothing to worry about. There are no federal commandos coming to break down their doors and take away their guns.
Sure, there is an outside chance that a universal gun registration system will be approved by
And yet, given the rhetoric of the
The usual case against gun control is being made, of course -- that it does not work and only burdens law-abiding gun owners, not criminals who, by definition, flout the law. But the loudest voices on the right are making a more strident argument. They are saying that the 2nd Amendment guarantee of a right to keep and bear arms is not concerned with hunting birds or shooting skeet or target practice at a gun range, it is about giving citizens the means to resist despots like King George III. In other words, it is about a civilian capacity to fight the forces of overbearing government.
Certainly, the fact that they had just concluded a people's war against a king was very much on the minds of those 18th century Americans who approved the 2nd Amendment. But what does that imply for Americans today?
The gun-rights absolutists insist that it means that ownership of weapons on par with those in the hands of government agents and the military is guaranteed by the Constitution. Therefore, assault weapons cannot be banned and that any attempt to do so would be unconstitutional and despotic.
That's why the rhetoric has gotten so heated, driving the most vociferous firearms fans to toy with the idea of armed revolt against "King Obama."
But, paranoid rants aside, the logical conclusion of the hyper conservatives' argument ends in a strange place. If the patriots of 1776 could match the redcoats with muskets and cannon, doesn't the absolutist interpretation of the 2nd Amendment suggest that today's "patriots" should be able to stand against a modern army? Doesn't it mean that citizens have a right to keep and bear, not just AR-15s, but rocket launchers, tanks, fighter jets and attack helicopters?