In July, John Holmes walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Illinois and opened fire. Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58. Holmes used the internet to buy hundreds of rounds of ammunition and other ballistic gear. Holmes used the ammunition in an assault rifle, one that did not require reloading. While the Second Amendment guarantees the rights of citizens to bear arms, should there be restrictions on the types of weapons available to non-military personnel and/or the type and amount of ammunition citizens are allowed to buy?
I tend to think that there should be. Some people talk about a slippery slope that would lead from a ban on assault rifles to a ban on all guns. But I think that this is not really that compelling of an argument. We already clearly accept some restrictions on the sorts of "arms" people may have. I have not heard the NRA pushing for allowing people to have hand grenades or anti-personnel mines. If we are not allowed to have these things, why is it so dangerous to prohibit owning assault rifles?
I think we should go further: no one should be allowed to own a gun. Guns are made for one purpose only--to hurt or kill. Owning a gun, therefore, raises the likelyhood that people will be hurt or killed. If we're interested in prevented that from happening, the obvious answer is not to allow anyone to own a gun.
It's also not clear that one has the right to defend oneself, nor that one has a right to defend oneself with a weapon. A case might be made for these two things, but it's not a given. Therefore, serious answers must be provided for those who believe in the right to self-defence with a weapon.
In theory, it's better to have a group of people who are honest, trained, and would never incite the slightest gratuitous agressiveness, much less violence, toward an ordinary citizen to own guns to protect others. In practice, however, this can be difficult to achieve. So while speaking theoretically, it would be better to have no person in the entire world owning a gun or a weapon.
That's my view....