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  •  While massive, the gunfail list is only a subset (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, Daniel Case

    If you've got the stomach for it, you can envision the larger carnage. Each week, mentally add another 200 or more entries for the deaths classified as homicides, and about twice that for the ones classified as suicides. Then add many times that for the cases that don't result in death.

    Each week dozens of shooters literally get away with murder by claiming it was an accident. Also each week, some number of shooters claim "accident", but do get charged with murder. Those incidents don't get listed here. We lack the data to see what percentage of the time it works.

    While it may seem like that part of the system never works, it is more accurate to say that it doesn't work often enough.

    Since it doesn't work often enough, we have to use something else. For example, regulating more carefully the purchase and ownership of guns. The second amendment includes the word "regulated".

    •  But, as most gun people would point out ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... it doesn't quite mean "regulated" in the modern sense.

      However, the original meaning should still guide policy today. It might be better rendered into modern American English as "a well-regularized militia," by reference to the regular army, which was a fairly new concept at the time. If you move to "a well-armed and -trained militia" now you've got something people today don't need further explanation of.

      If you go look at the Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason's predecessor to the Constitution's Bill Of Rights, you'll see that Article 13 is probably a less succinct statement of the same idea so pithily expressed in the first half of the Constitution's Second Amendment:

      A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state ...
      Emphasis mine. I can't imagine Mason or any of the other Founders, especially James Madison who drafted the Second, distinguishing the two. And I think they would have understood "trained to arms" to mean keeping and bearing arms with the same level of discipline and care that regular soldiers of the time would have. Certainly not doing so when intoxicated, or cleaning pistols that have a "forgotten round" in the chamber.

      (Actually, I wonder if, say, MusketFAIL existed back then in the sense that we know it now. I somehow can't imagine that given all the steps necessary to load and fire a flintlock muzzleloader ... especially when it seems like the most common firearms accident of the time was a too-potent pan explosion opening up the breech and probably blinding or taking a finger off the shooter. And that's the shooter's own damn fault for packing too much powder in. Or the gunmaker for doing shoddy work.)

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