For those who oppose any common sense gun safety legislation, including background checks, limiting gun clips, claiming it threatens their Second Amendment rights and liberties, I say with gun rights comes responsibility for the safety of all citizens. Even conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonia Scalia was quoted as saying: "Like most rights, the rights secured by the Second Amendment are not unlimited." Thus, rights may be regulated to protect the rights and liberties of all citizens to be safe from harm. That is why we have speed limits, require safety belts, and regulate our food, air and water.
After 9/11, lawmakers of both parties enacted laws for our safety that put restrictions on our rights (i.e., pat-downs at airports, warrantless wire taps) and no lawmaker resisted passing such legislation on the basis that it limited our First Amendment rights. So why should passing sensible gun safety legislation be treated differently, when 20,000 American children and teens die from gun violence yearly and police officers are gunned down daily from unregistered weapons of mass destruction?
We need to unite our voices with the parents of Sandy Hook and demand lawmakers put our children and citizens lives and safety first, above the NRA gun lobby and gun sale profits, sold to NRA members under the false premise that their Second Amendment rights are being threatened under the banner of "liberty." One of our Founding Fathers, James Madison, cautioned: "Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of Liberty and power. It is the former (liberty) not the latter (power) that is most to be apprehended (feared) by the United States."
While we all enjoy rights, with Second Amendment gun rights and liberties comes responsibility for the safety of all citizens.
Christine Johanson Ross
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