When pondering some of the hot button political issues of today -- gay marriage, abortion, voting, etc. -- I tend to side with those in favor of individual rights. It just seems logical, human, and American to allow for as many individual freedoms as possible; the burden should fall on the side of those who argue to limit our rights not those defending them. Why shouldn't two people in love be afforded the benefits of a legal and state recognized marriage? Why shouldn't it be left up to the pregnant woman to choose an abortion? Where I become a hypocrite, however, is with gun control. While one could (and many do) frame the pro-choice debate by claiming an abortion is tantamount to murder, I do not see this as grounds to make abortions illegal. Yet, I do see guns as an unequivocally threat to public safety. The Second Amendment reads:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
At first, the economically phrased Amendment seems clear -- if you're not a well regulated Militia, then you don't necessarily have the right to bear arms. Yet, last Friday, a federal appeals court voted 2-1 in favor of the individual's right to bear arms, claiming, "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued intermittent enrollment in the militia." My reaction: anger, betrayal, disollution, and then I feel into a Vinny Barberinoesque stupor, saying outloud with hands to my face, "I'm so confused."
It appears as though this is, as The Second Amendment Foundation called it "a landmark for liberty", or a notch on the bullet carrying belts of America's gunlovers and their disconcertingly strong lobby and its figurehead, the NRA. Upon searching further, I did find some interesting information on the subject of gun rights and the founding fathers' plan (see links at bottom of post). Though I feel that there can be an positive and fruitful compromise here. I don't necessarily have a problem with individual rights allowing for someone to own a gun, but I fail to see why gun control is the negation of these rights. Why does someone feel that they must have a gun immediately and why the hell don't we all agree that if you do have this pressing need, then you probably shouldn't have a gun? So, please read the links below and figure it out for yourself, because the more I think about this, the more I feel the urgent need to buy a gun, and then I'd just be more of a hypocrite.
Links to read: The Debate Team (a good video with quotes that Good Will Hunting would have cited if caught with an unregistered weapon), Stuck on Stupid, and a good overview of what people are saying from Michelle Malkin.