No Wavering on the Second Amendment


Folks who know me well understand that, politically speaking, I’m a raging moderate. It’s a result of spending the better part of 20 years working on various public policy issues for government and the private sector. What I learned is that there are usually rational, logical arguments that can be made for or against most any bill or policy.

With that background, it’s hard for me to be a self-righteous zealot or a hardcore supporter of a political party. (Unless they’ve created a Pragmatist Party I’m not aware of.)

However, there is one issue where I’m firmly planted on one side. That’s the issue of gun control. On the Second Amendment, I will not budge from my unwavering support of citizens to own and carry guns.

Others have written about this issue in more depth and with greater eloquence, but I’m compelled to add my two cents – or in this case, three reasons – why I cannot support efforts to weaken our Second Amendment protections. (And, none of them have anything to do with hunting!)

  1. Gun control doesn’t pass the common-sense test. People who are willing to violate laws against murder aren’t going to be dissuaded by laws restricting gun ownership. Criminals will still get and use guns, but law-abiding folks will find it harder to protect themselves. (A common myth is that people don’t use guns to defend themselves. Not only is that demonstrably untrue, it ignores the number of crimes that are deterred because criminals believe the potential victim may be armed.)
  2. Gun control doesn’t work. Look at the metro areas where gun laws are the strictest and notice that the rates of gun violence are as high or higher than areas where guns are allowed. That’s because gun control is a scapegoat issue that allows policymakers to avoid talking about real problems like stronger schools, better health care and economic opportunity. Those things take time and cost money to solve. Passing gun laws is cheap and when they don’t work, the knee-jerk response is to call for more.
  3. Gun control directly contradicts the intent of the Second Amendment –to enable citizens a last line of defense against tyranny. The framers of the Constitution very clearly didn’t trust an all-powerful central government and the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights as an insurance policy to keep our elected leaders honest. (At least in terms of their powers.)

Our right to own and use firearms is not a privilege that is given or taken away by government. It is one of our fundamental rights as citizens and one that we must never allow to be stolen from us in the name of safety or reducing crime. And, yes, I feel that way about our freedom of association, worship and speech as outlined in the First Amendment, our protections against unlawful search and seizure and all of the other rights we enjoy as Americans. Let them slip away and we will never get them back.

Does this make me some right-wing gun nut? No, because I’m not a right-winger. However, I’ll wear the “gun nut” label with pride.

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