Most people can agree that mass shootings in this country are happening too often. It’s almost like they are a normal part of the news cycle. Congress can and must do something about this problem.
We should all care about our constitutional rights. Those rights, however, are not without limits. The Second Amendment doesn’t explicitly give citizens the right to own every possible type of weapon. Even Justice Scalia writing for the majority in the 2008 Heller decision, said “like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”
It is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” At a minimum, we need: 1) Universal background checks and closure of the gun show loophole. People who should not have guns should be prevented from getting them. 2) A federal “red flag law” should be enacted to remove guns from those who pose a danger to themselves or society. 3) A ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
These weapons should not be in the hands of private citizens. Semi-automatic weapons were illegal in the U.S. from 1995 to 2004. Mass shootings dropped by 37%. When the ban expired, shootings spiked by 183%. Meanwhile in Australia semi-automatic rifles have been banned since 1996 and they haven’t had a single mass shooting since.
Private citizens in the U.S. cannot purchase fully automatic weapons, grenade launchers and tanks. They should also not be able to purchase semi-automatic weapons.