Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gun Law Guessing Game

As expected after the Supreme Court ruling, challenges to other local gun laws have been filed.
So now begins that long process that always runs with any nuanced legal issue. I commented at Faith in Honest Doubt that it resembles the game on The Price is Right where the contestant guesses a number for the price of something and the host says "higher" or "lower", then the contestant tries again. Various laws will be challenged, the Court will say Yes or No, new laws will be drawn up, and it goes round again until slowly some sort of guidelines emerges.

I found an interesting British analysis of this as part of a BBC Q&A article.....

Why does gun ownership matter to Americans?

Some observers relate the importance of firearms to the American psyche to the country's relatively recent history as a frontier nation, peopled by settlers who had to be largely self-sufficient.

Many Americans see their right to gun ownership as an essential personal liberty guaranteed by the Bill of Rights - and it is one they are determined to keep.

That attitude is supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful gun rights lobby.

Surveys estimate that there are now 90 guns for every 100 citizens in the US, making it one of the most heavily-armed nations in the world - although that figure covers people who own multiple guns, and many Americans do not possess firearms.

Those who support gun control argue that easy access to guns makes it more likely that they will be used and call for greater restrictions on their sale.

Firearms, including handguns, are used in two-thirds of murders and about 42% of robberies committed in the US, according to statistics from the FBI.

This tone is fairly consistent with other overseas articles I have read. Basically they think we're a little nuts about guns here.

From what I can find, I don't think South Dakota has to worry about any court challenges of this type. We pretty much let any adult who can pass the federal laws buy weapons, and state laws prohibit cities from enacting stricter laws. Only concealed weapons have any special regulation.

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