But the nation is at a standoff. A direct, "gun control" confrontation with the NRA and the gun lobby will produce only political gridlock, legal roadblocks, incremental improvements, and more dead bodies.
Why not take an approach that is both more unifying and more extreme? Why not start thinking how to take the 2nd Amendment back to its original purpose? Besides being constitutional, such an approach--by making gun owners an obligatory part of a national military apparatus, as the Founders intended--could produce the kinds of changes in the nation's gun culture that would turn things around.
Here for example is a statute loosely based on the Militia Act of 1792, but which maintains the current distinction between organized militia (National Guard) and unorganized militia (everybody else). It is very short and straightforward, but the military nature of its requirements would produce a mind-boggling but constitutional change in the relationship between weapons and the State.
Of course, this blog isn't called "follies" for nothing.
The Militia Arsenal Governance Act (MAGA)
Whereas the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America asserts the best security of a free state to be a well-regulated militia, and whereas the United States of America has regulated said militia since 1792, and whereas the militia is a military body, and whereas a military body requires an assessment of strength in order to be effective, and whereas there are two classes of militia, the organized militia (National Guard) and the unorganized militia, therefore the Militia Arsenal Governance Act (MAGA) enacts the following regulations for the unorganized militia:
1. 10 US Code §246 (a) is changed to read, "the militia consists of all able-bodied adults who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States."*see note
2. All members of the unorganized militia unless exempted as in (a) and (b) must possess, maintain, and be trained in the use of a firearm; and must keep a minimum of 20 rounds in a secure location at all times.
(a) Members of the unorganized militia not wishing to possess a firearm must pay a Statutory Annual Firearm Exemption (SAFE) fee as established by their State. The SAFE fee is to be used by each State only to pay for the administrative costs of the MAGA program.
(b) Each State will determine its own classes of additional exemptions, e.g. felons, medically unfit, etc.
3. The National Guard of every State will maintain a registry of all firearms in the possession of the unorganized militia in that State and will make an annual report to the U. S. Secretary of Defense enumerating the firearms and ammunition in the possession of the unorganized militia in each State.
(a) Personal information in the registry will be kept confidential by the State National Guard. Release of personal information can only be obtained by court order.
4. The National Guard of each State will perform an annual inspection of every firearm, with attendant ammunition, in the possession of every militia member who has them. Each State will establish and collect fines for those who fail to participate, which fines may only be used to pay for the administrative costs of the MAGA program.
5. All members of the unorganized militia who keep arms must participate in a minimum of 3 hours of annual training provided by the State National Guard. Non-participation will be subject to fines established by each State, which fines may only be used to pay for the administrative costs of the MAGA program.
*Currently the militia "consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and … under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard."