Several weeks ago there was a shooting at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in Long Beach, CA. The first question you might ask is how did an armed man get into the Federal building? The stunning answer is this was a shootout between armed ICE agents, during an employee performance review obviously gone bad. With one agent dead and another wounded I think it is fair to ask whether anybody, agents or otherwise should be armed in the workplace. Are they armed because they expect gun play in a federal building that already has armed security and metal detectors at the entrances?
In most if not all states a weapon can be carried in the open with no training and a simple permit that may require a background check. Even the background check can be easily and legally circumvented by purchasing the weapon from a private party.
I think this shooting is a cautionary tale. These ICE agents were in fact “well trained”, yet this simple dispute turned deadly and irreversible because these men were armed. If the agents were not armed I think any reasonable person would have to agree the outcome would have been much different.
Any discussion involving the individuals right to be armed always brings the second amendment front and center. Anyone who is convinced that they know exactly what the framers meant when they drafted the second amendment should be obliged study the endless stream of court cases that have been argued all the way to the supreme court. I can say with some certainty they could not have conceived of a society where 44 million people own 192 million firearms, 65 million of those being handguns. In 1791 the available guns were single shot muzzle loading rifles made by gunsmiths. Also keep in mind that most of our laws are based on the principle that collective freedoms should supersede individual rights.
I also think it’s time we got over the idea of the infallibility of the framers and think that possibly if they were exposed to the weapons that are available today they may have been a little more careful about the way they structured of the second amendment.