On Guns, Let’s Secure Our Liberty and Our Lives

On Guns, Let's Secure Our Liberty and Our Lives

(Zimmytws/Dreamstime.com) The Declaration of Independence places “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” at the pinnacle of the American endeavor. From the Revolutionary War to Civil War to World Wars, Americans fought and died for that noble premise. The Constitution further exhorts government to “establish justice, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” But today, across our country, Americans are locked in fear over a clear and present danger to these fundamental rights. As they drop their children off at school, gather at places of worship, go shopping, step out to a concert, a movie, a restaurant, lurking in the background is that nagging fear that some deranged sociopath will spray the gathering with a hail of bullets. When gunshots ring out all too often at our public gatherings, the “common defense” and “general welfare” are imperiled. Fear displaces “blessings of liberty” and corrodes established justice. I have always been a strong supporter of the fundamental American rights enshrined in our Bill of Rights, including freedom of religion, speech, press, peaceable assembly, and the right to bear arms . But all these rights have their reasonable boundaries. No one is free to use religion to terrorize others; no one is free to shout fire in a crowded place or to turn an assembly into a riot; and no one should be free to take up arms against the innocent and defenseless. Balancing these fundamental rights is […]

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