…now if someone could just codify “common sense”!
People are very loosely and very passionate crying that we must pass “common sense” gun laws. They want them now! Anything less and you have “blood on your hands”. Fine. Let’s start with the aspect that has absolutely nothing with caliber, barrel length, barrel shrouds, pistol grips or bayonet mounts. Let’s talk about…age.
The state of Florida recently raised the age of buying certain long guns to twenty-one, from eighteen. What does this mean? I remember back in the sixties when you could be drafted into the army at age eighteen, but couldn’t vote until you were twenty-one. How is that “common sense”? So the voting age was lowered to eighteen. Common sense, right?
Maybe it’s time to have a discussion on when someone becomes an adult? We want responsible adults voting, owning firearms, drinking responsibly, defending our country…shouldn’t all those ages be the same? Obamacare in its infinite wisdom, allows children as old as twenty-three to stay on their parent’s policy. Are twenty-three year olds not responsible adults?
What about the age for sexual consent? If the age at which someone becomes responsible enough to drink, vote and own a gun, wouldn’t “common sense” say that that’s the age when a child can both sign contracts and consent to sexual relations? You have to be eighteen to legally sign a binding contract. In the Netherlands and Great Britain, statutory rape takes place before twelve and thirteen respectively, but there are special circumstances for children above that age but under sixteen.
In the US, it varies by state between sixteen and eighteen. Should we raise that to twenty-one? Twenty-three? How is a sixteen year old mature enough to make possibly life changing decisions regarding their sexuality and procreation, but too immature to own certain types of firearms?
Michael Moore, who never met a doughnut he didn’t like, recently came out in favor of lowering the voting age to sixteen. Really? Where’s the “common sense” in that? You can get pregnant and start a family at sixteen, but you can’t sign a contract to buy your own car or rent your own apartment, and even if you did, you couldn’t have a gun in your house to protect your family, because it’s against the law!
Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “If a man is not a liberal when he is eighteen, he has no heart. If he’s not a conservative when he’s thirty, he has no brain.” Young people, with less experience in the real world, tend to be more liberal. They haven’t yet discovered that the world is not the way they wish it was. A younger voting demographic would benefit the more liberal party, the Democrats. Certainly that would make filmmaker Moore happy as a pig in slop, to have a slew of new, idealistic voters, easily persuaded to embrace liberal tenets. But is that “common sense”?
There you have it, fellow babies, as Johnny Fever might say. What is the “common sense” age when a person becomes mature enough to have sex, drive a car, sign a mortgage, drink, vote or own a firearm? Is it “common sense” to expect them all to be the same? Shall we follow the example of Obamacare and require children to be twenty-three before engaging in these activities? We didn’t even get into what age constitutes adulthood when a person is tried in a court of law. Some criminals are tried as adults when they are seventeen, if the crime is particularly heinous. Is there a “one size fits all” age for all of these activities? If not, how is this “common sense”? If so, are you sure that it’s common sense?
Keeping firearms out of the hands of the immature, mentally ill and criminals is a goal everyone can endorse. So, let’s set the age of maturity for all these events. Pick an age. Show your work. Gain a consensus in the electorate and we’re home free!
Good luck with that!
Mike, a.k.a Proof writes at Proof Positive
Photo by MDGovpics