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Sun, Jan. 26

Letter | J'aime Morgaine: It’s not a gun control vs. second amendment argument

The National Rifle Association (NRA) needs to stop peddling the false narrative of gun control vs. Second Amendment and start supporting the Second Amendment for everyone, not just the small percentage of people who want to arm teachers and “ban schools, not guns” as their best solution for gun violence and mass shootings in public schools.

The NRA is invisibly subverting the Second Amendment by lobbying for legislative support of only one part of the Second Amendment (the right of the people to keep and bear arms), while at the same time undermining and vilifying support for the other part of the Second Amendment (the right to a well regulated militia), even though the Constitution makes clear that “a well regulated Militia [is] necessary to the security of a free State.”

How did the NRA become more powerful than the United States Constitution?

There are no words in the Second Amendment that guarantee individuals the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment does not guarantee individuals the right to keep 30 weapons, assault rifles, automatic weapons, or bump stocks. And there is no “age 18” guarantee, either. These “rights” have been legally interpreted to apply to individuals, not guaranteed explicitly by the Second Amendment.

But then we have the statement “well regulated,” which is explicitly guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Yet the NRA aggressively undermines this right by trying to make people believe that “gun control” is the enemy of the Second Amendment. It’s not. The fact is that “well regulated” is an explicit Second Amendment right.

So we absolutely need to change the NRA’s narrative, because the real conflict is the imbalance between these two sets of Second Amendment rights, with one right being privileged over the other through the incontrovertibly powerful political contributions by the NRA to influence legislation intended to erase “well regulated” right out of the Second Amendment.

And if we’re ever going to rise above this destructive and divisive national debate, we need to stop arbitrarily assigning political affiliations to these two sets of rights. It’s not “Republican right to bear arms” against “Democrat right to well-regulated gun control.” Both rights are guaranteed equally to all citizens irrespective of political party.

Why is it so hard for the NRA to understand that a gun is created to kill, that killing is a gun’s only purpose? Is there any other “right” more potentially dangerous than granting someone the right to kill another human being in self-defense? That’s precisely why the Second Amendment explicitly states that sensible regulation is “necessary to the security of a free State.”

We all want to feel safe and secure. No one wants gun violence or mass shootings. And no one wants people with dangerous mental illness or violent histories having access to guns, either. But we need to remember that we’re all on the same side, that we’re all fighting for Second Amendment rights as we struggle to create a new balance point between the right to bear arms and the right to regulate them.

But make no mistake, the NRA is spending millions of dollars every year lobbying to privilege one Second Amendment right over another. So it’s time for all true Second Amendment advocates to work together and start demanding our elected representatives to support the entire Second Amendment, not just the part that the NRA is paying them to vote for, because “gun control” is a Second Amendment right, too.

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