Police say Atwater had a loaded 9 mm handgun under a couch cushion where his girlfriend’s child was sitting when officers went to the home on Sunday.It was a stolen handgun, evidently not one he owned or registered legally. Still, it was manufactured legally, and (we assume) originally sold legally -- although I suppose it's possible it may have been stolen somewhere in the supply chain between manufacturer and retailer. My point is, simply, unless you are law enforcement or active military, there is no reason to be in possession of a gun. (Again, I'll make my usual disclaimer for not really being too concerned about non-automatic hunting rifles in general, being more concerned about handguns and automatic weapons.) Even legally purchased, registered weapons are routinely stolen and subsequently used in crimes. Now, true, the same can be said of cars and any number of other things, and I'm not arguing cars should be banned (although the environmental case could be made ... but we won't go down that road!) or anything else a criminal might use in the course of committing a criminal act, such as a pair of sneakers, a cell phone, a pair of gloves, etc. The crucial difference, of course, is sneakers, cell phones and automobiles are not made with the specific intent of firing projectiles at a high velocity to injure or kill other human beings.
Police seized marijuana from the house and a stolen handgun, according to the warrants.
The Second Amendment is killing us. Archaic, misunderstood, and outdated, it is simply not a protecting a freedom society values the way our currently down-trodden Fourth Amendment was designed to do. When we, the people, wrote and ratified the Second Amendment as part of the Bill of Rights back in 1791, we were concerned about our national ability to defend ourselves from an invading army. We have a pretty large military now that takes care of that. I'd argue that anyone who talks about "original/Founders' intent" with regard to the Second who doesn't acknowledge that is being disingenuous.
When was the last time we amended the Constitution to fix a flaw or to account for changing times so it better reflected our values as a free society? The last meaningful amendment was ratified in 1971, to extend the franchise to 18 year-olds. Almost forty years ago. (I'm ignoring the Twenty-Seventh, which had to do with Congressional pay.) The Eighteenth is a cautionary tale, but aside from that, the Amendments to Constitution we've made have served a purpose that is understandable. I'd argue against the sensibility that the Constitution is sacred object to be fetishized but seldom changed. Now, I'm not saying we should be in making change for change's sake. We should though recognize times change, technology changes, and we recognize there are things the Founders couldn't foresee and gaps in the law as a result. The Constitution should be a living document. The Supreme Court has failed us so many times (Gore v. Bush and Citizens United rulings leap to mind as recent examples) and is populated largely by conservative dunces who can't be trusted to make coherent rulings. It's actually rather critical we fix the Constitution in those areas where clear principles in keeping with our (small 'd') democratic values (such as defining 'speech' to distinguish it from money, and clarifying that corporations are not now, nor have they ever been, people) could be spelled out in such a way as to prevent Congress and the Supreme Court from trampling on our freedoms.