A possible gun regulation compromise?
Leftists regularly argue while having no apparent knowledge of the relevant facts. And the current outcry for gun control after the Florida shooting is a prime example of that. They act as if nobody had ever tried gun control before.
Yet gun regulation varies greatly across the fruited plain -- so the data to assess the proposal is readily available. And the fact is that in places like Chicago guns are very heavily regulated. Yet Chicago, Detroit etc are also the places where gun deaths are at their highest.
So the existing facts on the ground tell us that gun control does more harm than good. Criminals are greatly encouraged when the rest of the population has little or no protection so shoot with every expectation of impunity.
But a conservative writer has come up with a suggestion that may have some merit. It may not however pass constitutional muster:
Instead of debating gun regulations that would apply to every gun owner, we could consider limits that are imposed on youth and removed with age. After all, the fullness of adult citizenship is not bestowed at once: Driving precedes voting precedes drinking, and the right to stand for certain offices is granted only in your thirties.
Perhaps the self-arming of citizens could be similarly staggered. Let 18-year-olds own hunting rifles. Make revolvers available at 21. Semiautomatic pistols, at 25. And semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 could be sold to 30-year-olds but no one younger.
This proposal would be vulnerable to some of the same practical critiques as other gun control proposals. But it is more specifically targeted to the plague of school shootings, whose perpetrators are almost always young men.
And it offers a kind of moral bridge between the civic vision of Second Amendment advocates and the insights of their critics — by treating bearing arms as a right but also a responsibility, the full exercise of which might only come with maturity and age.