Previously posted on Chuck for...
Long time readers will be surprised to see a short post on this subject. I am disappointed by the margin at the Supreme Court, 5-4, but I am less than astonished at the finding. The historical record is clear, despite the dissent, and this outcome was assured if the record held any meaning.
My friend, Zak Johnson, over at Blue Steel Democrats has an article that I don't see myself improving on, so go over there and then stop back.
The SC ruled against total bans as an infringement of the individual right. The concept of individual right guaranteed that DC's ban would go, but the idea of unlimited rights has never been affirmed or even hinted at. The statement about the 1st not allowing the shouting of "fire" in a crowded theater makes it clear that certain exercises of a right are universally and inevitably disastrous and have no redeeming value. The question that has not been sorted out by this ruling is where that limit lies.
This is the crux of the issue. A sawed-off shotgun is a fearsome self-defense weapon, and uniquely qualified in that use as both not needing great accuracy and not over-penetrating but its role in criminal activities is also fearsome. Fully automatic weapons are regulated for the simple reason that their ability to fill the air with bullets guarantees disaster with them in general possession. These examples are about the nature of the function of the arms, the thing, but the real danger comes in the person of the operator.
We continue to see things as a problem rather than the societal effects that create operators of a criminal nature. We continue to try to band aide the problems by addressing things rather than the operators and the root causes of their behavior. As an example the entertainment industry's portrayal of firearms and shooters is almost complete nonsense; it isn't a case of artistic license being a problem; it is that this license exists in an atmosphere of ignorance. By demonizing a thing, education and knowledge of it evaporates and complete horse pucky becomes common currency.
There are perfectly good explanations for the existence of gangs and their use of violence to protect turf and the usage of firearms. These explanations have not one thing to do with the existence of firearms and everything to do with both governmental policies and societal constructs. As long as the focus is on the thing, we seem to be free to ignore and not address the actual problems. For some reason "gun control" is seen as a left idea, it is in fact authoritarian and a perpetuator of the problems the left proposes to address.
The mere existence of a firearm guarantees that the criminal use of it will happen, the criminal will find a way even though we attempt to make that difficult. The object is to reduce the criminal activity and that requires changes in the environment that creates criminal activity. The War on Drugs is the most corrosive use of governmental resources I know of, it creates huge profit potentials accompanied by violence, encourages bureaucratic corruption, and ensures the restriction of civil liberties and encourages scoff law attitudes. Removing this one policy would tremendously reduce firearms violence but we are wedded to it for some unfathomable and historically nonsensical reason. (oh it's free lance pushers vs government endorsed pushers)
While I find Heller only mildly influential it may force open a dialogue regarding dealing with the actual problems rather than trying to bury them under gun bans...don't hold your breath.