LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Second Amendment restrictions are not unconstitutional

Gun Rights

Wednesday’s Pioneer quotes the chairman of an Osceola County Second Amendment group as saying his organization is trying to “head off” Michigan going in the same direction as Virginia, “where they are going after gun rights.” Just how nefarious are those elected representatives in Virginia? Well, they want universal background checks — no more avoiding them through private sales or gun show loopholes — as well as freedom for local governments to designate gun-free public spaces and buildings, empowerment of authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from persons deemed dangerous to themselves or others and limiting handgun purchases to once per month. I get that some gun advocates are feeling a little defensive in the only advanced country with daily mass killings, but looking past the conspiracy theories that seem to have become part and parcel of a large swath of gun culture, these measures don’t seem extreme. Among the other “unconstitutional” restrictions opposed by many proponents of “Second Amendment sanctuary” are bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Error 0: Every right conferred in the Constitution is restricted. The First Amendment guarantees of speech, press, and religion do not convey the “right” to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, print and distribute posters urging mob violence or conduct ritual torture as part of your religious ceremony. We draw the line at a point where common sense tells us that expression of individual freedom has become an unreasonable threat to others. By the same rationale, Second Amendment rights are also […]

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