Discussing rights: Reason, not emotion, should rule the day

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hacon1, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. hacon1

    hacon1 Monkey+++

    Op-ed piece from the Colorado Springs Gazette:



    March 2, 2008 - 9:22PM

    Discussing rights

    Reason, not emotion, should rule the day

    There are a few subjects some people can’t discuss without becoming emotional. Firearms in the hands of citizens is one of those subjects. The most recent example of this phenomenon is occurring now as Secretary of the Interior Dick Kempthorne is considering changing the law that bans possession of loaded firearms in national parks. Kempthorne wrote a letter to 51 senators who had contacted him last year about relaxing the decades-old ban that puts park visitors at risk from criminals and wild animals, saying he favors relaxing the ban. That’s a good thing; in 2006, national parks were the scenes of 11 killings, 35 rapes or attempted rapes, 61 robberies and hundreds of other violent crimes.

    Organizations representing current and retired park workers oppose repealing the ban. They believe doing so would endanger workers and visitors and, according to a Washington Post story, “change the parks’ character,” whatever that means. Apparently they don’t worry about leaving park visitors at the mercy of criminals, who don’t pay attention to such bans.

    That response is typical of emotion-driven objections to allowing law-abiding Americans the means to protect themselves. Opponents of allowing people to carry loaded guns into national parks, stores, on the street and most other places often trot out some version of the argument that Anytown, U.S.A., will become the Wild West, with the streets running with blood. We saw that when many states became more liberal in granting permits to carry concealed weapons to law-abiding citizens who had passed background checks and jumped through various other hoops. After years of such programs and tens of thousands of everyday people taking responsibility for their own safety, those fears have turned out to be unfounded.

    Another bromide Second Amendment supporters are tagged with is that they want to arm every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes down the pike. That’s incorrect on at least two levels. Arming people means providing them with weapons. What we and others want is for government to get out of the way and allow us to exercise our rights to self defense. If government restricts rights because some people might abuse those rights, we don’t live in a free society; we live in a society in which the government decides what the people may or may not do. Call us wacky, but we don’t believe that’s the country the Founders envisioned.

    That’s not to imply that firearms are not dangerous. Guns are dangerous; that’s what makes them effective for self defense and deterring crime. But because a product is dangerous or might be misused is no reason to keep it from law-abiding citizens. Rather, anyone caught misusing the product should pay a price commensurate with the damage caused.

    Many people are frightened by the sight of guns. They equate guns with violence. That’s understandable, given the coverage gun crimes get in the media. But guns don’t cause the violence; it is caused by people who have no respect for the rights of others or the laws of a civilized society.

    It’s good to debate the pros and cons of an armed citizenry, but let’s do it based on facts and rights, not emotions.
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  2. MbRodge

    MbRodge Monkey+++

    Re: Discussing rights: Reason, not emotion, should rule the

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