The right to bear arms does not entail a right to have every weapon all the time for any reason.
The Capital Times
Friday morning’s mass shooting at a cinema complex in Aurora, Colorado, which left at least a dozen moviegoers dead and dozens injured, provides another agonizing reminder that President Obama and Democrats and Republicans in Congress have failed to respond in an even minimally sufficient manner to the simple challenge of balancing gun rights with public safety.
There is no question that the U.S. Constitution establishes a right to bear arms. But that right does not extend to include every weapon in every circumstance. To suggest such a fantasy would have horrified and offended the founders.
Reasonable controls on gun sales and gun ownership, which exist in every other free country, have been stymied in the U.S. by political pressures and the political spin that says guns can’t be blamed for violence.
Of course, there are always mitigating factors of criminality, personality and mental stability in any mass shooting.
But, as Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia and the head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (which represents almost 1,300 of the nation’s most populous cities) says: “Once again our nation’s attention is riveted on a single act of violence that has claimed a dozen lives and left dozens more injured. ... While we don’t yet have all of the facts in the case, we do know that all evidence this morning points to a heavily armed assailant now in police custody. While questions about his motives and about how he obtained his weapons will be answered in the hours and days ahead, the fact remains that once again guns have been used in a mass killing of innocent people.”
In responding to the tragic news from Aurora, Nutter repeated the call of the U.S. Conference of Mayors for “reasonable changes in our gun laws and regulations that could help to prevent senseless tragedies such as the one that has rocked Aurora and the nation (Friday) morning.”
We couldn’t agree more with the mayors’ call for change.
(This article originally appeared in the opinion section of the Capital Times.)
July 22, 2012
post a letter about this article »
read letters on this article (2)