[The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in the Bill of Rights (commonly referred to as the part that gives the “right to bear arms”) was adopted on December 15, 1791. It reads:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
It is hard to imagine that the common law (or common sense) understanding of what was expected of someone possessing a dangerous weapon did not include the following responsibilities:
1. To have the knowledge and skill to use it safely and effectively;
2. To use it for legitimate purposes only;
3. To safely secure it so as to prevent unauthorized access or use;
4. To report it if lost or stolen;
5. To sell/give/loan it only to someone capable of meeting these responsibilities;
6. To have some form insurance or financial liability in case of mishap.
Given the massive illegitimate use of guns in America (murder, suicide, accidents) we must conclude that a sizeable number of firearm owners are not upholding these responsibilities, and, therefore, it is within our rights to take steps to insure that they do.
Roy Clymer is a gun owner and Vietnam combat veteran who respects people, craves knowledge and loves life.