Exactly what are your freedoms?

Kids with guns

Kids with guns (Photo credit: Josh (broma))

Let us have a quick show of hands.  Who believes we should allow people with a history of mental illness to buy guns?  OK, that would be just the 3 representatives from the NRA in the back of the room.  Now let’s see who thinks that felons should be able to circumvent the law and buy guns at a Gun Show?  That will be just the same 3 gentlemen.  Let’s move on.  Who believes that there should be background checks for the sale of all weapons at Gun Shows?  I see a sea of hands except for the 3 gentleman in the back of the room.  Let us complete our poll by asking how many of you think that guns that are lost or stolen should be reported to the police?  I see that will be everyone except the 3 in the back.  OK, you guys back there, there is no need for shouting.  What was that?  Was it something about your “cold dead hands”?  I’m sorry, the polls are closed.

You will find the scare tactics will now be in order.  The three aforementioned gun enthusiasts will try to tell you that if there are gun controls, only criminals will have guns.  This is the same sort of thing that we hear when budget talks are at a stalemate.  “Seniors will not get their social security checks if there is no budget.  The president will hold them back.”  Of course it is not true.  The president would sign an emergency measure regarding certain things.  It is part of the internet crap to tell you the bad gays will have guns and the “peace-loving” Americans who want guns and rifles and automatic weapons will not.  Whenever I read crap on the internet I go to Snopes to get the real story.  Why is the NRA trying to promote fear?  Why are they pushing more guns for our society?  Where in the world do they get the idea that any of our basic freedoms are absolute?

None of the gun control proposals I have seen would deny guns to the average Americans.  The items in the opening paragraph indicates the kind of controls that hear opposition.  Recent news events would certainly indicate that we should make all efforts to restrict guns from felons and people with severe mental problems.  Yet, there are those that oppose any attempt to control guns.  They see it as a “slippery slope” to the denial of all rights.  There are no such things as absolute rights.  Those who claim it as a second amendment freedom immediately indicate their lack of knowledge of American history and law.

The first amendment claims there should be no laws regarding the exercise of religious freedom, but we see that prayers in schools and displays on public lands are restricted since they show preference of one religion over another.  It also claims that Congress shall make no laws “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” and yet you can not yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater as a joke.  You can not slander or otherwise say libelous things about your neighbor.  Everyone knows you can not make jokes about bombs or hijacking while standing in line for an airplane.  Those of us in big cities that have seen the hosting of political events know that local authorities can make laws abridging “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” by mandating crowd control through parade permits and park permits.

When the nation was founded, we gave the founding fathers the right to make laws that limit certain freedoms.  It was for the good of all.  If you yell “fire” or “terrorist” or anything that would cause a stampede in a public place and injure people, you may be put in jail and prosecuted.  The entire basis of our country is founded on the beliefs of philosophers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  It is what is known as the “social contract.”  We elect representatives and give them certain powers over us to protect the common good.  That is why none of the freedoms in the “Bill of Rights” are absolute.  I do not need to explain to you that all of the basic freedoms have limits.  Do you then think that guns are exempt?  The government does not let me buy unlimited explosives and then sell them in a “private sale” to convicted felons.  Why then should the freedom for everyone to buy guns be absolute?  It is insane and we have an organization to lead the insane charge.  The NRA has an app you can put on your phone for 4 years old and up to simulate shooting someone.  Really?  Yes.  Now tell me again what needs regulation.

When the country was founded there were understandable fears against powers attempting to take over the states.  There was no federal force to help out.  There was no CIA or FBI.  There was no national guard.  What did the states need to protect themselves against foreign powers or a bad national government?  They needed a well regulated militia.  The is why the Bill of Rights 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.”  The security of the state does not depend on a well-regulated militia.  If it did, you could understand the need for all to bear arms in case the Red Coats were coming.  Ask yourself, in modern-day American, without a well-regulated state militia being necessary, what would the founding fathers say about gun laws, considering we gave them the power to insure domestic tranquility.  No, you 3 in the back of the room do not constitute a majority.

3 thoughts on “Exactly what are your freedoms?

  1. I agree with you completely Rich. And for those Constitutional originalists out there who believe we have to stick with what the Founders said, the Second Amendment was enacted to reassure the State governments that they could keep their militias and be ready in case the new Federal government got out of control. It certainly was not about an individual right, since all individuals had personal weapons to hunt for food or protect their homes/families against wild animals. When most of the population did not live in cities and when what law enforcement existed was miles away, you needed to protect yourself from “bad guys” too. Except for a minority of Americans, those conditions don’t exist now and certainly don’t exist in a context where automatic weapons or 50-cartridge clips are needed. Yes to background checks at gun shows and Yes to reporting of stolen or sold weapons.


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