Guns and Words
In the cases of the First and Second Amendments, the founders empowered us, rather than stripped away rights.
The First Amendment guarantees our freedoms of religion, speech, the press and our right to peaceably assemble. The Second Amendment guarantees the right of the people to bear arms.
Both were passed on Dec. 15, 1791.
In simplest terms, we have the right to use words and the right to own guns. The government cannot pre-censor what I write or say, and it cannot forbid me from owning a gun.
At the same time, I am held personally responsible if I abuse either of these rights.
If I make public secret war plans, I could be convicted of treason. If I libel or slander someone, I can be sued. If I use words on the Internet to prey on underage children, I can go to jail.
If I use a gun to commit a crime, it can mean jail or the death penalty.
I find it exhilarating that the founders treated me as an adult and granted me the right to use these powerful weapons—guns and words.
I hate guns. The idea of killing people and animals is anathema to me.
Am I in favor of gun control?
It doesn’t matter what I favor. The Constitution is the law of the land.
What’s more, consider yesterday’s story in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
TEN ARE DEAD IN A WEEKEND OF VIOLENCE
The slayings followed three forums Friday on how to stem the city’s problem. The year’s homicide count is 127.
Philadelphia has become America’s Baghdad.
I own a shotgun. I am thinking about buying a pistol and learning how to use it.
I like having that option.