- There is no political or legal momentum in the United States to confiscate anyone’s firearms. Claims to the contrary are nothing more than opportunistic and/or paranoid fantasy.
- In a democratic society, we can build a compromise between unfettered access to all weapons and confiscation of private weapons.
- The government can restrict our access to the most dangerous of weapons without inevitably leading to a fascist dictatorship or without intending to lay the groundwork for one.
- No rights enshrined in the Constitution are absolute or without limit.
- We must have a national dialogue about the crisis of gun violence in this country.
The simple truth is that no rights in the Bill of Rights are meant to be read as existing without limitation. Take the First Amendment, which, even unencumbered with a limiting phrase like the Second Amendment, is nonetheless constrained in a number of ways. A few of the limitations on free speech passed by Congress, approved by the Supreme Court, and accepted by the vast majority of people in the United States include:
- restrictions on the free speech rights of students in schools.
- limitations on speech that is deemed obscene.
- libel and slander
- speech that presents a clear and present danger
But for too many of the gun zealot crowd, the Second Amendment, a document written with the understanding that local and state militias using single shot weapons might be needed to protect their communities, is a statement bears no analysis or limit.
It’s time for gun advocates to tone down the extremist rhetoric about the threat of a tyrannical government and the need to be prepared for insurrection. It’s time for them to engage in productive dialogue about ways we can work together to prevent gun violence in the United States.
No one is going to take away your guns.
What we’d really like is some reasoned dialogue about what is becoming a national tragedy far larger than the horrifying moments etched in our memories.
Over 1.3 million Americans have died as a result of gun violence in the past fifty years, a total greater than all the combat deaths in the United States since the Civil War. Isn’t it time to do something?