Standing for our rights is no "national shame"

Standing for our rights is no "national shame"
AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

When it comes to our rights–not just gun rights, but any rights–is that a lot of people are really cool with curtailing them just so long as it’s not a right they like.


For example, a religious person might demand his right to worship as he pleases–as well they should–but then take issue with someone using their free speech right to denounce that very faith.

Or perhaps a better example is when a news publication uses its freedom of the press to denounce our Second Amendment rights.

That’s precisely what one did on the 11th anniversary of the Aurora theater shooting.

leven years after James Holmes opened fire inside an Aurora movie theater — changing everything in Aurora — the only change outside of the city is a stunning and disheartening increase in mass shootings.

The nation’s gun-death crisis is undeniable. As of July 18, there have been 392 mass shootings in the United States, defined as a single shooting killing or injuring four or more people. Almost 11, 000 Americans have been murdered so far this year by gunfire. Gunfire deaths is the leading cause of death among American children. Those numbers from the Gun Violence Archive, providing consistent and verifiable statistics.

It isn’t that the United States is incapable of ending not just rampant mass murders. We have refused to limit the power and abundance of American firearms. We permit virtually anyone older than 18, not yet old enough to drink beer, to obtain weapons designed for use in war or policing, engineered to efficiently and rapidly kill other human beings.


And the internet makes it easy for kids who aren’t even in high school to voice their opinions on a variety of topics, exercising their right to free speech.

What’s the point?

Look, if you want to make the case that 18 years old is too young to be treated as an adult in general, we can have that conversation. I actually think there’s a case to be made in that regard.

But they are legal adults, and this idea that we should restrict them from owning firearms is insane, and bringing up the drinking age as proof we should restrict them doesn’t make your case. I’ve long believed that if someone is old enough to die for their country, they’re old enough to get lawfully get drunk the night before shipping out.

Then again, what do I know? I’m just a gun-rights extremist, apparently.

Gun-rights extremist groups continue to fight these state laws and reforms.

Congress and state governments have even refused to require gun owners to prove their ability to safely wield and store a weapon so deadly it can kill dozens or even hundreds of people in minutes, yet we require extensive licenses to drive a car and even cut hair.

We refuse to limit how many semi-automatic firearms a gunman can own, yet we limit cats to five per household.

Well, probably because having more than five cats per household has more to do with the welfare of the cats than anything else. Experts figure that more than five or six cats and the owner is unable to properly care for all of them.


So that’s kind of a stupid comparison, though most people will think it’s clever, unfortunately.

Yet even if it were about more than that, so what? Cats are living, breathing creatures. Guns aren’t.

What would they suggest? Two semi-auto firearms per household? Guess what? I can’t shoot more than two at a time anyway–no one can unless they’re part octopus–and can generally only shoot one effectively. So what harm is caused if I have three and one stays in the closet gun safe?

See, the editorial board here calls people like me “gun-rights extremists,” but the extremism is in trying to undermine the plain text of the Constitution and the findings of the Supreme Court, all so they can curtail our rights so they can feel comfortable.

All while enjoying the freedom of the press that they refuse to allow me to curtail in any way that might inconvenience them.

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