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Armed In America

April 28, 2013

Rights are not unlimited. The first amendment grants us the right to free speech, but that doesn’t mean you can threaten to bomb an airport or yell fire in a theatre or collect child pornography.

By Hollye Dexter

Moms Demand Action was formed in the wake of the Newtown tragedy by Shannon Watts, a mom in Indiana who’d had enough. Apparently, she was not alone in her feelings. Four months later, we are nationwide with over 90 chapters and almost 100,000 members. The sole objective of Moms Demand Action, a nonpartisan organization, is to make America a safer place for children and all citizens.

Recently our facebook pages came under attack by some zealous, angry gun enthusiasts. Contrary to their accusations, Moms Demand Action is not trying to effect the second amendment or take away anyone’s guns. We don’t want to stop hunters from hunting, nor law-abiding citizens from keeping a gun for self-defense. What we do want is to end mass murders, like we’ve seen in Newtown, Aurora, Tuscon, Virginia Tech, Columbine and others, and to stop terrorists, criminals and crazy people from obtaining guns. Can’t most Americans agree on these objectives?

Scalia1-new403Our opposition screams we are threatening the second amendment, but it seems that many of our detractors aren’t really familiar with the amendment they cite. The second amendment states, simply, “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.”

That’s it. One sentence. The second amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791 at a time of horseback and muskets, when steamboats were the newest discovery in transportation, slavery was legal, and men wore wigs. The times were different, and the wording of the amendment was ambiguous at best. No one could have foreseen the kind of “arms” available today, and nowhere does the amendment state that citizens have unlimited rights to any kind of weapon.

Just ask the Supreme court. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), regarding the second amendment, the Supreme Court stated that “the right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

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