The Supreme Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment abstracts it from the original context in which the amendment was adopted. Returning to its history would permit us to control guns effectively.
In the 18th century America, guns were a necessity for life on the frontier, if not in the cities. But colonial governments, and I assume state goverments,were concerned that all militia members be well armed, going so far as to buy muskets and furnish them to the militia.
Militias were geographically based; you went to war with your friends and neighbors, with your kin and fellow church members. You typically I believe elected your officers, the captain of your company.
My point: militia members knew the capabilities and limitations of their fellows. They knew who were the klutzes and who the sharpshooters, who was slightly touched in the head, who drank and who was dangerous when drunk.
These networks provided a social control on gun possession, a social control which current jurisprudence does not provide.
My Modest Proposal: We require all gun owners to either:
- have the signature of a person who knows them and has some status in the community. For example: an adult relative, a fellow church member, an NRA club member, a government official (Senator, congressperson, state rep). The list can be expanded.
- maintain his or her weapons in a repository operated by a gun club, NRA club, or firing range.
Requiring a co-signature on a gun purchase application could provide a better check on gun purchases than a database check, since it makes the co-signor liable for the misdeeds of the gun owner. By putting the NRA in the loop, there's assurance that the measure isn't aimed at confiscating weapons.