I donít thinking raising the age of ownership to 21 is the right thing to do. Itís going to solve very little, while taking rights away from millions of people. There are many, many teenagers who hunt responsibly. Iíve got cousins who have hunted under adult supervision since they were 8 or 9. Theyíre no threat, nor are the overwhelming majority of gun owners between 18 and 20 years old.
It seems ultra hypocritical that young adults can carry a gun for their country, but canít own one at their homes.
I agree with this as well. There are so many more feasible ways to cut down on gun violence that don't trample on the rights of a specific age group.
I think the raised age is probably a good idea as one measure in a host of measures. I'm not seeing how Roy's cousins lives are deeply impacted. The US military is about as highly structured and supervised as anything could possibly be - and the guns aren't owned by the soldiers, just operated by them just as Roy's cousins operated their family's guns at 9 years of age..
If civilian young men/women were scrutinized, trained and supervised to the extent they are in the military (as Roy's 9 year old cousins were) I don't see why they should be denied the opportunity to operate a firearm. But to freely purchase and own - I am fine with acknowledging (as we do with alcohol) that the 18-20 year old brain - in too high a prrcentage of cases - is still too "adolescent". This helps only if part of a larger package of gun control measures. And I'm betting this will have no influence at all on 18 year olds participating in family traditions of hunting and target shooting.
You canít just take Constitutional rights away from adults based upon age. Itís discriminatory. Should we also take gun rights away from [insert race here] because they disproportionately murder people? Why not? Equal protection? Well, that applies to age, too.
And, the biggest age group in terms of gun murders is 20 to 24. Why stop at 21? Thatís an arbitrary age. Why not 25? 30?
I think you can take rights away based on age (license to drive; alcohol, pot, vote...), but I don't dispute your point that there is something arbitrary about the number. I could also take your argument in the other direction. Why 18? Why not 15? Why not allow 12 year olds the right to drive or to drink?
With some support from brain science, we do know that the 16 year old brain is less developed, especially in the pre-frontal cortex (which regulates emotional responses among other things), than the 25 year old brain will be. So we do make decisions that may seem arbitrary or even discriminatory, but that actually have some basis in science. Hopefully we only make decisions that withhold "rights" based on youth when it is truly an issue that impacts the general welfare and the right of Americans to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Unbridled gun ownership impacts rights for owners and non-owners.
Again, I doubt age increase is of much good on its own, but I definitely wouldn't take it off the table without a good look at what it could do in conjunction with other measures.
Edit: I do get that there is a difference between a right and a privilege. And I understand the argument that the 2nd amendment speaks to a "right". I suppose the realization I am coming to is that I do think gun ownership should be considered more of a privilege than a right.
Regardless of whether it *should* be a right, it is one. Itís embodied in the Bill Of Rights. Possessing guns is given the same protection as the right to Due Process, free speech, free exercise of religion, etc. Itís subject to some reasonable regulation, but completely barring adults from a Constitutional right is not really an appropriate regulation.
Thatís the key difference between gun ownership and drinking, driving, buying cigarettes, etc.
Now, overall the Supreme Court has been very passive regarding gun regulations (read Clarence Thomasí dissent this week), but thereís no principled or Constitutional reason for such bans to be valid.
Well, it's not really that black and white. The right to bear arms is protected and the courts have held that, despite the vagueness (and multiple versions of) the "well regulated militia being necessary" part, that the provision refers to individual rights.
But the SCOTUS has on multiple occasions made it clear that the right does not extend to possession of any
arms and that Congress and the States have legitimate authority to regulate that right. Just as they have authority to place curbs on other rights protected by the Constitution.
The National Fire Arms act of 1934, which imposed numerous restrictions, taxes and regulations on guns (including bans on certain types of guns), was enacted in response to all the gangland killings during prohibition. It was challenged (based on the 2nd amendment) and supported by the SCOTUS in 1938.
This has established strong precedence that the government _can_ tightly regulate guns in a variety of ways in this country and is the model for prior and existing legislation that has controlled gun ownership at both the Fed and State level.
The current free-for-all, basically un-controlled access to guns that we've had over recent years is not really the product of the 2nd Amendment. It is the product of the dramatic gutting of prior (Constitutionally allowed) Federal gun control laws. In particular the 2003 Tiahrt amendment (which prohibited law enforcement from publicly releasing data showing where criminals bought their firearms), the failure of Congress to renew the assault weapons ban when it expired in 2004 and then the 2005 Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which granted gun manufacturers immunity from civil lawsuits.
Those three acts by a GOP Congress under a GOP President are what have enabled the current waive of massive gun availability in this country. Not the 2nd Amendment.
Those acts are fully subject to repeal and modification, should a future Congress and President decide to do so.
The 1994 ban on assault weapons could be re-instated permanently, should a future Congress and President decide to do so.