Ban one gun and more bans will follow

Melissa Martin, Ph.D.

It’s called the slippery slope effect. And many gun owners and advocates hold the belief that if the government bans one type of firearm, then other types will be next and next and next — until the Second Amendment is chewed up and spit out. Fact or fiction?

Is there no compromise among NRA and gun advocates?

Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners Foundation filed an action (Gun Owners’ brief in Soto v. Bushmaster) in the Connecticut Supreme Court in support of gun manufacturers Bushmaster and Remington, who had been sued by the families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims.

Wrenn v. District of Columbia: “For decades following United States v. Miller, 307 U.S.174 (1939), two federal courts championed the pretense that the Second Amendment protected only a collective right to firearms. Widely disparaged in the legal literature by both pro-gun and anti-gun scholars, this collective rights idea was initially critically examined and rejected by the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson, 270 F.3d 203 (5Cir. 2001).”

The Supreme Court ultimately refuted and rejected the collective rights approach. In Heller v. District of Columbia, 554 U.S.570 (2008), “the collective rights theory was exposed.” Read the rest of the story at

“On June 26, 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the United States Supreme Court issued its first decision since 1939 interpreting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court ruled that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense. It also ruled that two District of Columbia provisions, one that banned handguns and one that required lawful firearms in the home to be disassembled or trigger-locked, violate this right.” Library of Congress at

Will the NRA and politicians — both conservatives and liberals — sit down at the great debate table and talk? Without blaming, shaming, framing and naming?

“People have a constitutional right to have semiautomatic rifles.” That’s what Paul Ryan stated in a Meet the Press interview in 2016.

However, the courts have allowed states to put some restrictions on semiautomatic rifles.

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York enacted laws banning assault weapons. And Minnesota and Virginia regulate assault weapons.

But, what is the definition of “assault weapon”? It depends on which side you ask.

The firearms industry and gun advocates assert the AR-15 rifle is not an assault weapon. Those for gun control disagree. And AR does not stand for assault or automatic riffle; it stands for a company called Armalite Rifle, which developed the weapon system.

In February, Ohio Senators Charleta Tavares and Michael Skindell introduced a bill that would ban assault weapons.

Senate Bill 260 defines an assault weapon as “a semi-automatic firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine with the capacity to accept 10 or more cartridges, and a semi-automatic firearm with a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept 10 or more cartridges.”

I support the Second Amendment, but I also support compromise and some restrictions on assault weapons.

I ask the same question again: Will both sides and those in the middle sit at the table together to converse, communicate and compromise on firearm issues?

Melissa Martin, Ph.D.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, self-syndicated columnist, educator and therapist. She resides in Scioto County, Ohio.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, self-syndicated columnist, educator and therapist. She resides in Scioto County, Ohio.