Friday, December 12, 2008

Americans have self-defense rights

Op-ed from the Times Herald:
I am not a gun collector or firearms fancier, and I've never felt a need to carry a concealed weapon. Guns, to use a trite phrase, don't float my boat.

With that said, I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment.

Part of this is pure pragmatism. I cherish the Bill of Rights, the bedrock of individual freedoms.

I know people who would gut the Second Amendment even though they claim to embrace the other nine amendments. What folly. It's rather like saying that except for a couple of murders, you live by the Ten Commandments.

To my way of thinking, those who would shoot down the Second Amendment are taking aim at all of our liberties, whether it is the right to a public trial before an impartial jury or the freedom to worship, or not to worship, as we choose.

Beyond that, I also am amused by those who argue the Second Amendment is ambiguous.

The entire amendment consists of a single sentence: "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."

It may be shoddy writing, but it is not unclear. Anyone who learned to diagram sentences in grammar school should have no trouble identifying the subject and predicate.

The essence of the sentence is this: "The right shall not be infringed."

What could be clearer? The American people have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Op-ed here.

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