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The 2nd Amendment is under attack

The Second Amendment is under attack. This amendment is so important, so crucial to the liberties of the people, that the Founding Fathers placed it second only to the first; that which guaranteed the five most basic of freedoms. We've moved away from treating this right as a right. We wink when we speak of guarding against tyranny, we collude when we mention hunters and sportsmen, and we ignore the individuals that exercise this right countless times a month to preserve their personal right to liberty and perhaps life. Make no mistake; the right of the people to keep and bear arms is the only provision that prevents a corrupt state from enacting more drastic infringements on the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Because of this, all discussions of restrictions should start with the recognition of just how paramount this right is. All enacted restrictions should therefore meet an extraordinarily high burden of clear, evidence-based benefit, while simultaneously recognizing the danger of restricting the rights of every single American. Gun control advocates are proffering the same restrictions, the same ideas, and the same justifications to achieve their goal; that goal being not to minimize gun violence, but instead remove guns completely from the hands of the citizens. And if outright prohibition isn't possible, to dilute the right so fully that it loses all resemblance to the Second Amendment. Unlike the media's strategy, this is not meant to be sensationalist but instead is the only conclusion that can be drawn from statements made by the Brady Campaign, Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Diane Feinstein, and many others that lead the call for stronger gun control. This is important because national tragedies such as Newtown, Aurora and Virginia Tech are being used as platforms, as justifications for restriction, when these proposed restrictions would do nearly nothing to prevent future like tragedies from occurring.

Take for example, magazine restrictions. This restriction is mentioned repeatedly and sold by common media outlets and gun control advocates as a common-sense approach to reducing casualties. This specific restriction has been demonstrated in many ways to be practically ineffective. The Virginia Tech shooter used two handguns (the Glock 193 having a magazine capacity of 15 rounds) and reloaded countless times during the massacre. A panel, which consisted of members of Virginia's governor's office and representatives of Virginia Tech, concluded that 10-round magazines that were legal would have not made much difference in the incident.

Perhaps even more damning to this argument is the Columbine shooting and weapon choice. One of the shooters used a Hi-Pont 9956, which was developed and sold under the Assault Weapons Ban and therefore had a magazine with a capacity of 10 rounds. Magazine restrictions serve only to restrict the exercise of one's right while providing, as indicated above, no tangible benefit. I'd be remiss to ignore pointing out also that the assault weapons ban, as a whole, focused on mostly cosmetic features was ineffective at reducing gun violence and yet again restricted the exercise of the Second Amendment without meeting the requisite burden of restricting a right.

Assault weapons bans, registration, further restricting person-to-person sales, all share evidence that flies in the face of what is presented as common-sense. Irrational fear and a misunderstanding of guns, coupled with disrespect for and an inability to recognize the paramount importance of the Second Amendment motivates gun control advocates and changes the nature of the conversation about gun violence. The desire to diminish this right, inaccurately citing violence and massacre as justification, leads to the request for "compromise" and hiding the ultimate goal of complete and utter dilution. Demanding compromise on the basis of compromise alone stops only when one side gets everything they want. In this case, it will serve to rob the people of their right to fight tyranny, as well as their guarantee to individual protection.

Jonathon Patterson, Brooklyn Park

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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