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.
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Not Voltaire, but no less profound – very much a part of living free.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”
Evelyn Beatrice Hall, (1868 – after 1939)
Though I do agree with the statement that this bill does violate the first amendment; however, I don’t believe that statement to be exactly true. If you read the second amendment as it is written. I feel technically that the fact of ANY gun control is a violation of the second amendment, to include every current law.
Do I believe that all laws should be removed? No, but I do feel that a bill to make it a crime to propose a bill on gun control isn’t technically a violation of the first amendment because of the phrase in the amendment, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” I believe that phase should allow states to make it a crime, I mean law enforcement faces criminal charges for violating our constitutional rights, why shouldn’t law makers and such when they violate our 2A rights? I don’t believe to propose a law should be a crime, but instead some kind of legal action be taken against those that were involved in violating our rights. Too many restrictions have been put in place already, no need for more.
In the military, mass punishment is expected not just common, and it never fixes anything. Instead the outcome is usually worse with mass punishment, a lot like how Chicago banned guns, and they now are a leader in gun violence. Mass punishment isn’t what’s needed, what is needed is to revise the current laws to makes violations more severe.