Those of us who support the entire Bill of Rights like to say that the Second Amendment protects the rights recognized by the other amendments … even those that allow anti-gunners to attack us.
After all, if you don’t support the civil rights of all Americans then you have little moral authority when you claim the protection of the Constitution for the right to keep and bear arms.
Conversely, those who wish to strip the right to keep and bear arms from the Constitution are often willing to compromise on other rights as well.
We have seen both sides of this coin during the last week.
In the ‘gun-control paradise’ of Chicago, which continues to lead the US in murders and violent crime, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told a Sunday morning talk show audience that those who advocate for gun rights are guilty of ‘corruption’ for daring to contact their elected representatives.
Superintendent McCarthy might need a refresher in First Amendment law. Not only does the First Amendment protect freedom of speech but it also protects the rights of citizens to ‘petition the government for redress of grievances.’
Because Superintendent McCarthy seems to have a hard time understanding basic civil rights, I will break that phrase down for him.
It is ‘founding father talk’ for contacting your elected representatives to advocate for a position. And what you are doing Mr. Superintendent … is called exerting a chilling effect on that fundamental right.
And while Superintendent McCarthy is the only anti-gunner who needs a reminder this week, one of our own is wasting political capital on a bill that has similar First Amendment issues.
Missouri Representative Mike Leara has introduced a bill that would make it a felony in Missouri to introduce a gun control bill.
He goes on to state that he has introduced the bill purely to make a statement. “I want it to be clear that the Missouri House will stand in defense of the people’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
And while I am deeply grateful to Representative Leara for his principled stand, I think that this bill does not serve us in the long run as it too is a clear violation of the First Amendment rights of legislators.
Representative Leara’s fellow pro-gun Representative Kevin Engler said it best. “Everybody should have a right to introduce bills, even bad ones.”
In closing I will say that this however. I am certainly willing to listen to legal arguments asserting that actually passing gun control laws might qualify as treasonous.