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Lil Wayne is innocent

March 18th, 2010

Law is mind without reason. I’ll return.

For the next eight to 12 months, that will be the last tweet on Lil Wayne’s Twitter account. The rapper was sent to the slammer a couple weeks ago after he “got stopped by a lady cop” who found a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol in his tour bus. Unfortunately for Weezy, the incident took place in New York, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States. But what makes Wayne’s tweet so fitting is that only a few days earlier, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in McDonald v. Chicago, a case that will decide whether state and local gun control laws violate the Second Amendment.

So just how reasonable are gun control laws? Some states, including New York, only recognize handgun licenses that are acquired in that particular state. That means even if you obtain a license to own a handgun in Ohio, you can still be arrested if you bring it to New York. And even if you tried to apply for a separate New York license – a process that can take up to six months to complete – you still wouldn’t be able to get one because New York only gives licenses to full-time New York residents.

But the restrictions don’t stop there. Texas, Florida and Illinois all prohibit individuals from openly carrying guns. And in California, an individual can carry a gun, but there’s a catch – it can’t be loaded. So despite the fact that the Constitution guarantees the right of a citizen to keep and bear arms, many states restrict the vicinity in which an individual can exercise that right to only the privacy of one’s own home. In doing so, they’ve made it practically illegal to carry a gun.

Now Lil Wayne is no Aristotle, but he’s right to infer that there’s really no reason behind most of these gun laws. Yes, guns are designed with the specific purpose of injuring and killing. But the simple possession of a gun causes no direct injury to others and should, therefore, not be criminalized. And while some assume that the use of a gun is inherently bad, the primary function of a gun is self-defense. Put simply, guns are life-savers.

Of course, the majority of people don’t want criminals or drug abusers to have access to guns, but federal law already takes care of that. It’s state and local gun control laws that are preventing law-abiding civilians from exercising their Second Amendment right. Luckily, the conservative wing of the Supreme Court should take care of that.

If not, here’s some food for thought. Empirical evidence has shown that when something is outlawed (i.e. marijuana or alcohol during the Prohibition), criminals still find a way of getting their hands on it. So the more restrictions that are put on acquiring and carrying guns, the more society will become a place where the only people carrying guns are criminals.

Remember the Fort Hood shootings back in November? The military base in Texas banned individuals from carrying guns on its premises. The result: one criminal with a gun, 13 dead and 30 wounded.

Perhaps society would be safer with less gun control laws. I know of at least one person that would agree with me.