Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Leave the guns at home during political rallies

Gun right supporters at Miller rally (1)
Leave the guns at home boys. We don’t need them at political rallies. Nobody is going to take away your right to own guns as long as there is the Second Amendment.

In a rally for Joe Miller, senate candidate in Alaska that has the support of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express, some of the marchers worn guns over their shoulder or strapped to their waist. This is allowed because the guns were not concealed and Alaska is a right to carry state. Miller, a gun rights supporter, said that he wasn’t bothered by the presences of guns at his rally.

The Second Amendment, supported by the Responsible Community, guarantees a person’s right to “bear arms” in the United States. There is disagreement to the full meaning of the amendment, but it does support gun ownership in some way. But no right is absolute. There can be reasonable restrictions placed on gun ownership.  As an example, those that have shown a lack of restraint in the past can have their second amendment rights taken away.

But there is also another restriction that should be honored at political and other social gatherings. That is the restriction of personal responsibility. Political rallies are, in the last couple of years, very heated. The political events that were part of the health care debate last year are just an example. People from all sides of the spectrum were their showing their passion – and sometimes nearly uncontrolled anger. If the heated political environment continues at the pace it is and there are guns at the rallies, trouble is going to follow. One side or the other is going to get out of hand.

Remember Kent State at the end of the turbulent ‘60’s. Those deaths happen when there was a command structure in place that was suppose to prevent such events. Yet, fear, anger and a lot of passion got the best of everyone. Even Vice President Spiro Agnew in a David Frost interview at the time said that the killings were an, “over-response in the heat of anger.” (2) That over-response killed four people.

Passion is a part of politics. That can’t be denied. As passion builds in the climate we have, fear and anger can overcome a rational person. If someone has a gun handy or if they are concerned about a weapon that someone else’s has, it is going to become too easy to take action.

Leave the guns at home. We don’t need them at political rallies.

(1) http://www.bradynetwork.org/images/content/pagebuilder/23320.jpg
(2) Stone, I.F. (1970-12-03). "Fabricated Evidence in the Kent State Killings". The New York Review of Books 15 (10). OCLC 1760105. ISSN 0028-7504. 
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