Our Congressman, Rep. Tom Reed held four town hall meetings this week-end. At the one in Penn Yan Rep. Reed and the constituents explored many topics. The dialog moved to the Newtown school killings. Reed was asked if the events had altered his thinking on gun control laws. He responded:
“I do believe in the Second Amendment and that it is an individual fundamental right, so if we go down this path we have to be aware that you’re infringing upon freedom. It could be this freedom this time in the constitution, what’s the next freedom?”
The fear of losing constitutional freedoms is a standard second amendment debate technique. The problem is no one is realistically suggesting drastically altering the second amendment. A member in the audience suggested controlling the more extreme weapons. “I don’t believe the Second Amendment says you can have an assault rifle.” We may have to work together to compromise on a way to keep the most of the second amendment and keep the public safe.
Compare the Second Amendment Rights/Public Safety compromise with the following situation to limit our First Amendment Rights:
The Penn Yan Village Board looked to make ‘Protest Activities’ within 2000 feet of a funeral event illegal. The ban on Protesting would be in effect for two hours before, during, and two hours after the Funeral Event. I was against the law. In my mind I was using the same argument that Rep. Reed used, “It could be this freedom this time in the constitution, what’s the next freedom?”. I understood the conflict, freedom of speech vs. families rights to mourn peacefully. We eventually compromised, that is, we decreased the buffer zone from 2000 feet to 1000.
We didn’t eliminate Freedom of Speech, we just reasonably controlled it.
We don’t want to eliminate the Second Amendment, we want to reasonably control it.