Rights Are Not Open Ended

No this does not mean that rights are temporary, only that rights are not without limitations. This is especially true when it comes to the Second Amendment. I believe in the right to bear arms but I am also aware that this right can and should have limitations. At present the gun lobby is presenting almost any legislation concerning gun control as a violation of the Second Amendment. This is not accurate in the least. In the Heller decision by the Supreme Court it was mentioned that the Right to Bear Arms does have limitations. If it didn’t then owning a nuclear missile or a heavy machine gun would be legal, which it is not.

I realize some gun nuts will say this is not what is meant by the Second Amendment and while I agree that was not the original purpose, laws are interpreted and as such they have room to maneuver.  Which is one of the reasons the Founders put the Supreme Court in the Constitution. Admittedly my example bordered on the absurd we can take it the other way to. It is conceivable that the Supreme Court could, outlaw all fire arms but allow swords instead. Technically, it would still be in compliance with the Second Amendment and not unconstitutional. It would follow the letter but not the spirit of the law.

When you get right down to it the Second Amendment is not unlike any other amendment and has limitations as does the rest. There are limits on the Freedom Speech and the others so why can’t there be limitations with the Second Amendment? The typical excuse is because we need to defend against our government. Sounds nice in principle but more goes into a revolution than just having and knowing how to use a fire arm. Actually, fire arms are the last part of the rebellion and not the start. The point is, we need legitimate gun control legislation, coupled with other approaches such as improved school design, mental health care, elimination of poverty etc etc.

In any case, Rights are there for you but they also have limitations. It is important for the law makers to strike a balance between protecting the right and providing constructive, none oppressive limitations that prove to be functional. Will we ever see it? Probably not.

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