(Breaking alert: I just learned about H.R. 25! Now that is a bill worth supporting!)
This post started life as a comment posted here: David Codrea Article at "Digg!"
Since it sums up my entire position, I decided to post it here as well. Enjoy!
A number of comments (on David Codrea's "Test your knowledge of Gun Control" article) have touched on hotspots like Mogadishu vs. "peaceful" cities like Tokyo.
I live in Tokyo. There is rampant crime here that is never reported in the media. Home invasions, burglaries, rape, and even murder are not as uncommon as some people would have you believe. Since the beginning of the year half a dozen taxi drivers have been killed. Some of them with kitchen knives, some of them with "commando knives", and some of them with baseball bats or wooden practice swords. One of them was shot.
Tokyo is safer than Chicago or New York, but not as safe as Denver or Cheyenne.
The problem in places like Mogadishu is not a lack of gun control. In fact, the problem is excessive gun control. Only militia members who work for warlords are allowed to have weapons and ammunition. Everyone else is either unarmed or executed without trial. Many who either fear guns or favor non-violence have fled to refugee camps and some of those refugees are in Darfur, where they are victimized by yet another "militia".
This is the core problem with defining "militia" in the Second Amendment as "organized, official military or police". In every single place where organized militias exist, non-members are both unarmed and, without exception, badly oppressed (including Gaza, areas controlled by the Taliban, and so on).
The Militia Act of 1792 says,
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act."
In today's world, "each and every free able-bodied white male citizen" would have to be defined, "each and every adult citizen".
So, by the definition created by the Founding Fathers, if you are a citizen of the United States at least 18 and not yet 45, then you are the militia. Not only does the Militia Act define who is in the militia, it also defines their weapon. The definition reflects the highest level of military technology at the time. Therefore, to translate this into modern terms, a member must own, maintain, and be proficient in the use of a multi-function rifle capable of automatic fire in either 5.56mm or 7.62mm. In other words, a nice M-16, AK-47, or equivalent.
Instead of bringing back the unconstitutional and cosmetic "Assault Weapons Ban", I think we need to update and enforce the Militia Act of 1792. We need to enroll every adult without a felony conviction or an affadavit of mental incompetence into the Militia, order them to buy, maintain, and learn to use an appropriate weapon, and then (as in the original) forbid the government at all levels from confiscating those weapons or limiting their availability and usefulness.
Now, if any individual is unwilling to be enrolled in the weapons carrying portion of the Militia because they are opposed to violence, that's okay, too. They are enrolled as support personal and lose their protection from the entire Bill of Rights. If you want your rights back, all you have to do is be willing to defend them and express this willingness by shifting your enrollment back to the weapon-owning side of the militia.
That, like it or not, is the genuine intention of our Founding Fathers. Instead of arguing "gun control" vs. "no gun control", we need to ask ourselves if we believe the ideals of our founders and if we do, are we ready to defend and support those ideals?
If you don't support the ideals of the Founding Fathers then please feel free to move to a country that better suits your personal value system. I'm American and I want America to return to the original vision of its founders. Not only do I oppose further erosion of that vision, I support any and all efforts to reverse the erosion that has already occured.
Half my ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, the other half helped them survive the winter.
In closing, freedom has never been "free". I'm sorry, but if you enjoy the freedoms of life in the United States of America than you have a sacred duty to defend those rights. You cannot hide criminal activity behind the Fifth Amendment or spew profanity under the First Amendment without also accepting your duty under the Second Amendment. Life does not work that way.