Gun control a matter of balancing liberty, safety and responsibility

Gun control a matter of balancing liberty, safety and responsibility

Brett Roper Local outdoors columnist The recent spate of mass shootings has once again started discussions concerning the proper limits of gun ownership. This concern, in combination with the election of President Biden and a pandemic-linked production backlog has made it all but impossible to buy guns and ammunition. Over the next year sporting goods shelves will be restocked, but it is unlikely American’s mixed relationship with gun possession will be solved. People generally understand the Supreme Court and the Second Amendment of the Constitution provide the sideboards for the gun ownership discussion. This Amendment states, “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.” In 2008, the Supreme Court posted a decision relative to the District of Columbia v. Heller. This case was based on a police officer who carried a gun at work but the District of Columbia denied Mr. Heller a permit to keep a gun at home. The decision was 5-4 with the majority opinion authored by Justice Antonin Scalia who found this DC law unconstitutional. This finding and a more expansive decision in 2010 (MacDonald v. Chicago), reinforced the Constitutional right of individuals to own and keep guns at home for self-protection. In his opinion, Justice Scalia argued many historic constitutions protected the individual’s right to own guns. For example, Pennsylvania’s 1776 declaration of rights stated; “That the people have a right to bear arms for […]

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