“For a sense of how extreme some gun-rights advocates have become — and why Congress won’t pass even modest firearms safety laws — consider what happened to history professor and longtime gun enthusiast Dick Metcalf,” USA Today’s Editorial Board opines, referring to an ancient event in Internet terms. “When he recently wrote in his Guns & Ammo column that the Second Amendment right to ‘keep and bear arms’ is not unlimited, Metcalf suddenly became the enemy.” Yes, well, yes. But not according to the McPaper. The real enemy is . . .
Gun-rights absolutists assert that language contained in the Second Amendment — “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” — means no restrictions, period.
But last we looked, it was up to the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution, and that’s not what the court said in its landmark 2008 decision upholding an individual’s right to own guns. “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote. He added that limits on who can buy weapons, what kind they can own and where they can carry them are constitutional.
The decision, which resolved decades of argument, was cheered by bedrock Second Amendment stalwarts such as the National Rifle Association. But reasonableness has been purged. Gun groups and their members seem to vie now to see who can be more extreme and who can promote the most expansive guns-everywhere legislation in statehouses. Their destructive one-upmanship substitutes tunnel vision for reason.
You gotta love the left. When the Supreme Court issues a ruling that they reject, they do so without hesitation. No less a lefty than the current President of the United States criticized the Supremes during his 2010 State of the Union Address – to their faces. But if the Highest Court in the Land™ OKs laws that infringe upon your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, so-called Progressives highly recommend you STFU.
To that end, the USA Today editorial board plays “pin the extremist on the gun nuts.” As I’ve mentioned before, we’re one small trigger pull away from the antis changing their rhetoric from “gun rights extremists” to “domestic terrorists.” The paper’s decision to use a photo of a gun control rally [above] and the use of the word “hijacker” in the headline (Gun absolutists hijack debate on firearms) exposes the incendiary hypocrisy of their hatred.
One suspects, however, that USA Today’s Editorial Board feels they’re being magnanimous rather than inflammatory.
Despite the hysteria that too often distorts the gun debate, a few things should be clear by now. The nation has debated gun ownership and resolved it in gun owners’ favor, politically and in the nation’s highest court.
What’s left to decide are what measures can keep guns away from criminals and the dangerously mentally ill, saving some of the more than 30,000 lives lost to gun violence every year. That will require the Second Amendment absolutists to show more respect for the rights of others.
The gun control laws put in place by proponents of civilian disarmament in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, California, etc. – and the gun control laws being currently under consideration in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, California (70 at least count), etc. – are unmistakably unconstitutional. Gun rights “absolutists” will not rest until the gun rights that are clearly, unmistakably protected by the Constitution are restored.
Equally, it behooves the unnamed author at USA Today to note that there are no countervailing Constitutional rights that trump or limit the scope of the Second Amendment. Those who would deny Americans their gun rights have no right to do so. No matter what politicians, police, editorial boards or the Supreme Court has to say about it.
[Click here for a most excellent rebuttal editorial by Jeff and Chris Know published by USA Today]