A well regulated Milita, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. - U.S. Constitution
It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men, in all ages who mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters. They think there need be but little restraint upon themselves. The love of power may sink too deep in their own hearts - Daniel Webster. In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. - Thomas Jefferson. The founders of our nation, the authors of the Constitution, wrote it specifically to restrict government interference in the personal lives of the people. And since its inception, our government has made every effort to chip away at it, to redefine it, to twist it so that it is more to their advantage and liking and less protective of the people. Where the 2nd Amendment is concerned, they want to simply add a few exceptions to the right of the people to keep and bear arms. We just want to keep assault weapons out of the hands of criminals, they say yet, they aren’t taking them out of the hands of criminals but out of the hands of decent, law-abiding, responsible citizens. We don’t see any value in allowing the people to stockpile high-capacity ammunition clips and magazines, they say but again, they aren’t taking them away from criminals but from decent, law-abiding, responsible citizens. Oh, they’re all about choice when it comes to a womans right to murder her unborn child, but when it comes to a law-abiding citizens choice of firearm whether for self-protection, sport shooting, or just collecting well, they have to put a limit on that because that can result in the deaths of innocent people. Hmmm. And then, of course, once we get these few, tiny, inconsequential restrictions enacted, we’ll stop there right? I wouldn’t bet the farm on that.
And lets look again at that convoluted argument that the fewer privately-owned firearms there are, the less gun-related crime there will be. Cities with the tightest restrictions on personal firearm ownership also have the highest crime rates. The reason is obvious: criminals don’t obey laws. They don’t purchase their weapons from federally licensed firearm dealers, they don’t undergo a background check. They just go out and steal them or illegally obtain them in other ways. But we never hear about gun control measures that would, for example, enact tougher penalties for crimes committed using firearms (of course, first things first, we’d have to actually enforce the laws we already have!) No, all we hear about is ban this, ban that. Thousands of people are killed each day in car crashes caused by drivers texting on their cell phones. No one wants to ban cell phones or cars. Maybe for gun-control advocates, its a take on the NIMBY (not in my back yard) factor. Nearly everyone has a cell phone and a car, but not everyone has a firearm, so as long as it doesn’t take anything away from me, I’m all for taking it away from somebody else!
In his editorial common misconceptions on gun control (Tribune, Sunday, April 24), Joseph Cotto takes the position that legislation at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels will tackle the dangers of assault weapons. I ask you to replace assault weapons with drug abuse, driving under the influence, texting while driving or your own choice of crime, and then ask yourself if legislation at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels has actually, effectively tackled the dangers.