All rights have limits. We have freedom of speech, but that does not extend to making threats of violence, being slanderous or libelous, or using words to create a dangerous situation (i.e., shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater or "Bomb!" in an airport).Originally Posted by exzel
What makes those limits? The rights of other people. We need to define those boundaries for the Second Amendment; it's as simple as that. OF COURSE there are going to be people who think the limits should be extreme. There are also those people who think the limits should be nonexistent. The mere existence of those people, and the volume at which they speak, does not really signify anything in and of itself.
In your argument, you appeal to emotion (the mall shooter scenario). But the facts are--statistics show--that a heavily armed society is a dangerous society, overall. Yes, guns have saved lives. But not nearly so many as the lack of guns does.
However. It is not my intent to suggest that the Second Amendment be heavily restricted, as much as I would love to live in a society where I don't have to worry about all these gun owners, a small percentage of whom seem to not be very rational, who could be around me every second of every day. (Yes, some non-gun owners are irrational too, but what are they going to do if they get really mad, disable me with papercuts and run me over with their Mini Coopers?)
Limits are rational. Limits are sane. And rights are only yours to the extent that they do not impede another's. My right to know that I am sending my child to a house with a resident who is currently in possession of a handgun which may or may not be properly secured is, yes, more important than your right to be secretly armed. The people's right to know that that gun you bought three years ago is still in your possession and that you are still mentally and physically capable of using it properly is more important than your right to sell that gun or give it away to whomever you want. Our right to know that you have had the proper training and were determined capable of correctly using a gun in the first place is more important than your right to absolute medical privacy. Why is that? Because of the sheer number of people who are killed, accidentally and intentionally, by guns in this country every year.
You want guns? That's fine. I want some assurance that:
- You have some valid reason for wanting it. Self-protection, collecting, it's part of your job, hunting, target shooting ... something.
- You don't buy more guns than are reasonable for one person/family to own. Illegal guns were generally legal at one time. They got into the black market somehow.
- You don't have health issues that would make it dangerous for you to own a gun.
- You didn't get to walk in somewhere right after you lost your job and are furious with your former coworkers and walk out with a gun.
- Every gun you have is registered, just like a car would be.
- You have had the proper training, just like you have to have to drive a car.
- Every transfer of a weapon is accompanied by title, just as with a car.
- Every few years you have to re-certify that you are capable of using your guns, just as with driving.
- You do not own weaponry sufficient to conduct a small-scale war.
Per the Constitution of the United States, it is indeed your right to bear arms. But every single right in the Constitution and its amendments must be viewed through the filter of the Preamble and thus must not materially impact the rights of the remaining citizenry to justice, domestic tranquility, general welfare, and all the other blessings of liberty.