To the Editor:
One of the foundational documents of our nation, the Declaration of Independence, states that life is an “unalienable right”… “endowed” … to “all men” … “by their Creator.” This right, says the document, is a “self evident truth.” The second amendment to another of our foundational documents, the U.S. Constitution, states that “…. the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
Unfortunately, these two basic rights sometimes conflict with one another. Conflicting rights are not uncommon: free speech and press vs. freedom from slander and libel, for example. In such cases it is the job of the legislature and the courts to determine the limits of our rights. Yes, we need to remember that no right is absolute; all rights are limited.
The question is, “Where are the proper limits?” It is my opinion that the right to life is more important than the right to bear arms. If placing limits on who may own or possess a weapon will prevent the loss of life, then so be it. The experience of other countries that have placed restrictions on gun ownership has shown a positive relationship between limits on weapons and preservation of life.
We have lost more lives in our country to gun violence since 1968 than all of our soldiers who have died in war from the Revolution to the present day. That is a terrible statistic. It is high time we made some changes. If you agree, contact your legislators.