The 14dec12 Newtown massacre has been blown into a celebrated “crisis” for the nation’s gun ban contingent. And President Obama has made certain that this crisis will also not go to waste in his overarching program that is fundamentally transforming America. He gave VP Joe Biden the job of fashioning the next set of regulations that will further criminalize law abiding citizens who own and bear guns. Remarkably (or not), Biden will present his panel's rapidly reached conclusions and resulting recommendations within the next few days.
The Second Amendment is one of the two or three major dividers in our ideologically polarized country. And its public debate (mirrored in these pages) shines a bright light on the enormous differences that separate our self-declared progressives from those who consider themselves to be classic liberals and libertarians – more compactly labeled our Left and Right.
The major element of debate about the extent of public ownership of guns is their beneficial functions, if any, in a free, open, and liberal society that intends to remain so. These functions are summarized in gun uses for 1) self-defense, 2) sport (including hunting), and the maintenance of 3) par force (q.v.) against a government turned rogue.