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posted: 9/6/2012 5:00 AM

Second Amendment goes only so far

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Gun advocates argue that the Second Amendment gives them an absolute, unrestrictable right to carry a concealed gun on our public streets. These "literalists" fail to recognize that the Supreme Court has placed reasonable and necessary limits on other rights purportedly guaranteed rights in writing by our Constitution.

To illustrate, our First Amendment right to free speech is curtailed in certain instances from infringing on public peace and safety. You just can't say anything, anywhere, anytime. The Fourth Amendment on its face requires a warrant before the government can search or seize one's person or property. However, the Supreme Court has carved out many exceptions to this warrant requirement, such as allowing police to conduct a warrantless pat-down of one's person upon reasonable suspicion that said person is armed and dangerous. Even the paramount and inalienable right to life cited in our Declaration of Independence is not absolute -- just ask those on death row. And it is no coincidence that big conceal-and-carry jurisdictions like Texas pride themselves on their execution rates.

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Sure, States can permit "conceal and carry" if they so desire. But, at the same time, jurisdictions like Illinois can outlaw conceal and carry without violating the Second Amendment, as the right to bear arms is no less susceptible to reasonable and necessary limits than any other constitutional right. And, so far, Illinois has done the right thing in realizing that more guns on the streets does not beget less violence.

Mike Fanella

Arlington Heights

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