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The Second Amendment under fire

March 18, 2008 - Steve Murch
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. That’s one of the arguments pro-gun people use.

Without the gun, fewer people would die. That’s one of the arguments anti-gun people use.

The Supreme Court stared down the arguments on Tuesday involving a handgun ban in Washington, D.C.

Both arguments are right when taken in the most basic definition. But like everything in life, the Second Amendment is not as simple as black and white. Especially when it comes to the hardliners on both sides of the argument.

Most people in northern Michigan likely don’t understand what all the fuss is about; some sure fuss, but not all of it. We grow up around guns and hunting is a way of life for many. We are exposed to it at an early age, and those who maintain a relationship with guns are taught to respect what it means to have and handle a gun. Of course there are exceptions.

In many cities in this country, guns have an entirely different meaning and use. That’s where the anti-gun people take exception.

In Los Angeles, Jamiel Shaw, a high school athlete with a chance at playing at the college level, was shot two weeks ago by gang members while he was coming home from school. In a sad twist, his mother is in the military to defend our rights — one of which is the Second Amendment. She is stationed in Iraq. She came home to bury her son, but has to return to Iraq days before the pretrial hearing for the person charged in her son’s death.

To the anti-gun crowd, Shaw is why they support the handgun law in Washington, D.C.

Should there be limits? Likely yes. But where do you draw the line?

How do you tell a collector he can’t have a certain gun? And don’t tell him he has to dismantle the firing pin because that lessens the gun’s value.

And finally, who’s to judge how many and what types of guns a person can have?

Our Founding Fathers never could have imagined some of the guns that would have been created in the years to come. However, they left plenty of leeway in most of the Bill of Rights, so they likely knew there would be improvements in weaponry.

It’s an issue that will never be fully resolved.


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