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Gun Control Debate in Huntington – Here We Go Again to Nowhere

Demonstrations on pros and cons of gun control don't answer the real question of how to save lives. Something more basic must be addressed and will happen only if both sides agree on what that is.

Demonstrations are not a debate. Rather I suspect that New York’s ban on “assault weapons” and its gun registry requirements will ultimately lead to the United States Supreme Court again addressing the issue of gun control and the Second Amendment. Gun rights activists, including the NRA, are already branding the NY law unconstitutional, arguing that it takes Constitution-granted rights away. On the other side of the aisle, the anti-gun activists simply ignore Second Amendment rights. As always, the sheep on each side follow their shepherd and demonstrate.

But how many know that when the United States Supreme Court struck down Washington DC’s hand gun law in 2008, it did not confer on gun owners unlimited Second Amendment rights. On the contrary, the Court said “like most rights, the right secured by the Second amendment is not unlimited” citing as examples possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, prohibitions on carrying of firearms in schools, and conditions and qualifications imposed on commercial sale of arms. And the Court went even further, “[w]e also recognize another important limitation . . . that the sorts of weapons protected were those ‘in common use at the time’.”

But struggling with interpretations of the Second Amendment is not the only basis for imposing limitations. The founding fathers emphasized an authority that overrules even the Constitution. On July 4th 1776, the then Continental Congress signed a Declaration that stated that, not only are all men created equal, but also they are endowed “by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Why unalienable? Because these rights are incapable of being altered, and therefore, no Constitutional Amendment can abridge these rights. The right to Life is greater than the right to bear arms. Being subordinated, the right to bear arms must of necessity always be reasonable as it relates to the right of everyone to Life. Assault weapons serve no purpose other than to kill and therefore Second Amendment protection is unreasonable and must yield.

Finally, there is the most rational basis for banning assault weapons, or any weapon whose sole purpose is to kill. In my book, the hero poses a question to his mentor: “How do you stop killing.” Before providing the difficult answer, the mentor responds: “Has killing ever brought any change for the good?”

A people still divided on the issue of gun control in the face of the Newtown killings brings no change for the good. One would hope that the two sides could see that the question is not about Second Amendment rights but about stopping the killing in any and every reasonable way possible. How better it would be if the two sides could come together at least on the issue of banning assault weapons rather than be further divided by demonstrations or even another Supreme Court decision. That would be the right start of a real change for the good.

[If you want the answer to how to stop killing, you’ll find it in my book, A Promise Kept, but you may not like the answer.]

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Stephen February 24, 2013 at 04:56 PM
This is not just a Constitutional issue. Just because you Can do something does not mean you SHOULD. Americans have many "rights". The first "right" is that of "LIFE" as in "Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." One of the ways of protect my family's "life" is to defend my home. Firearms are the logical choice for protecting one's home. Law-abiding citizens SHOULD have the right to protect themselves. Current laws already restrict gun ownership and require all kinds of safeguards. Only criminals have illegal guns. NYS's recent gun law penalizes law-abiding citizens and does nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Whether a direct violation of the Second Amendment or not, the law us useless (if the intent is to stop gun violence) and harms law-abiding citizens.
john doe February 25, 2013 at 06:45 PM
I guese you will have to limit the police having more than 5 rounds in a gun then. At least according to the logic that is currently proposed... They must be using those additional rounds to kill people so we should limit them so they do not kill or injure more victims... Bet NYS will not do that, wonder why... Same reason the politicians do not have to go on Obama care, they have stuff that is better. Take guns away from legal owners and the criminals will be the only ones with them... On top of trying to control what you are allowed to eat, give me a brake NY. And this is a FREE society? Yea right...
john doe February 25, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Wonder what guns law enforcement uses with the swat teams? O yea assault rifles, good for them not for you. Bet they are not limited on the ammo they can use... What type of health care does the appointed politicians get? Life time coverage, O yea thats it. Good for them, Not for the public... No as a politician I don't think I need to use obama care, not good enough for me... No one ever said the public was smart... Just gullible. Yes please take our "assualt rifles" Wait some idiot just did a rampage with a shot gun and a lever action rifle and he had a hangun too. Ban them all. Kitchen knifes, bow and arrows next... Try outlawing doctors who over-prescrib drugs, or booze that causes more childrens deaths in accidents then all the last 10 years combinded with guns... Bet the politicians wont bring that up... It's called an agenda and politicians are using children to justify this agenda... Bet you would all be up in arms if the NRA used kids in thier defense yet it's ok to let the politicians do it??? Keep living in your sheltered worlds untile they colapse on you...
Gigi Bowman February 27, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Why is the cause of these shootings not being addressed --but rather ignored....the FACT that most of these school shootings and mass murders have been done by people on SSRI medication. http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/psych-meds-linked-to-90-of-school-shootings/ Why, instead, in the middle of the night is a bill rushed through with no time to read it no less vote on it! The government is pandering to one of the biggest lobbyist in this country and the owners of the media --Big Pharma. Without Big Pharma's dollars there would be no media and certainly no re-election of these legislators who are taking away our rights every day.

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