One of the commentors to this article said that if he didn't know better, he would think it was satire. But then he noted that the author was on Kurt Schlichter. But let's get into it shall we? The article in question is Mandatory Assault Weapons Now! by Kurt Schlichter at Townhall.com.
Before we discuss the possible strenghths of the idea, let's discuss what the rights in the Second Amendment means. The Second Amendment states that "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Rights properly understood are liberties that one may take advantage of, but one must both assert the right and pay for any expense entailed. So, for example, while one has a right to freedom of the press, the government doesn't buy you a press, paper, and a staff of writers. Similarly, the Second Amendment acknowledges your right to own and carry a weapon, but you must purchase the weapon, ammunition, cleaning supplies, training and range time. Essentially, the rights provided in the Bill of Rights are negative rights.
The Left, however, has a different definition of rights. Under the Left's understanding, if someone has a right, it means that these rights must be provided to the person by society at large, meaning the government. Such rights are thought to be positive rights. The theory under which Obamacare was past would be an example of positive rights. Everyone has a right to health care, which is true enough. Under negative rights, you must pay for your own health care costs, whether that is health insurance, or health savings accounts, or pay as you go. Under the Left's positive rights, the government subsidizes part or all of the costs of your health care. (The fact that they don't actually do what they promised should concern everyone, but I digress.) Schlichter is here taking the Left's word quite literally, and applying it to a right the Left would like to erase.
There is an assault weapon problem in America – too few Americans are ready to do their duty to deter and defeat criminals and tyrants because they do not own the kind of weapons necessary for a free and secure people to remain free and secure. Right now, America has only 1.2 guns per person – this tragic shortage is nothing less than a crisis, considering that each citizen should have a battle rifle and a handgun in order to perform his or her duties.
A modest proposal: Make owning an assault rifle mandatory and have the government supply one to those who cannot afford one. I say we ensure an M16 in every pot.
This only makes sense. If a citizen has a gun, he is a citizen. If a citizen does not have a gun, he is not a citizen. He is a serf at the mercy of his feudal overlords. The right to keep and bear arms is not merely a right but a duty to keep and bear arms – everyone who is a law-abiding and healthy adult must have a real assault rifle and the ammunition to use it to protect himself, his family, his community and his Constitution.
This is a non-delegable duty. Like serving on a jury and paying taxes, you can’t slough this off on others. You have to step up personally. Relying on cops is a cop-out – we must all be first responders, and there’s no better response to criminals and aspiring tyrants than a bunch of Americas packing the same heavy-duty firepower that our soldiers do. We must make it mandatory, because some people are half-stepping, and we must supply those Americans without the means to buy the necessary guns and ammunition with a weapon and bullets so that they too can know the pride of participating fully in their own governance.
I like the idea. Indeed, I have floated it in the past. Every young man would train for two years in the military, and at the end of that time, would take home an M16, 100 rounds of ammunition and a side arm with ammunition. Each year, each man would be obligated to spend two weeks in military training, during which they would bring their weapons and ammunition, and ample range time to be available to refresh their weapons skills. At the same time, a program like this would obligate men to keep themselves fit enough to serve. I think this is what the Founders intended. They certainly never wanted us to have such a large professional army.Personally, I think the Founders, if they were alive today, would find Schlichter's idea absolutely a good one.