Mudcat Café message #3453478 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #148617   Message #3453478
Posted By: Bee-dubya-ell
17-Dec-12 - 05:29 PM
Thread Name: BS: Shooting tragedies and guns
Subject: RE: BS: Shooting tragedies and guns
It's a fundamental tenet of US law that a right, once extended, can only be rescinded or limited if its free exercise denies others the free expression of a more fundamental right. Though the practice of chattel slavery was perfectly legal when the Constitution was framed, it was later determined that the right to own slaves was trumped by those slaves' more fundamental right of freedom.

Does the right to bear arms conflict with a more fundamental right? It depends on what arms we're talking about.

People have a right to feed themselves and to feel safe in their homes. For many, whether you or I agree or not, owning a gun for purposes of hunting food and personal protection is part and parcel of securing the fundamental right of life itself.

On the other hand, owning a firearm which is not likely to be used in securing a fundamental right cannot be considered a fundamental right itself. Most semi-automatic rifles in private ownership are used for non-hunting recreational purposes. Last time I checked, recreation is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution or by subsequent legislation. Life is. When the two come into conflict, even though it's a rare occurrence, Bubba's right to shoot an AK-47 at tree stumps gets trumped by his fellow citizens' right to life.

Of course there are plenty of gun owners who will contend that since an AK-47 can be used for hunting, they should have a right to own them. Well, if the government has a right to say you can't hunt moose with a .22 because you're more likely to wound the animal than kill it, it should have the right to say you can't have that AK because you're more likely to use it to shoot your neighbor than a deer.