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Rights, not government, should be expanded

July 8, 2008

State laws across the nation, as well as the reluctance of most local officials to participate in anti-gun hysteria, make it clear that the vast majority of residents of our states support the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling recently on Second Amendment rights.

But the very language used in one justice's dissent, as well as reaction to the ruling from many liberals, particularly in urban areas, makes it clear that efforts to chip away at Second Amendment rights will continue.

The court ruled that the Second Amendment does not allow laws to prohibit Americans from keeping handguns in their homes for purposes of self-defense. But, reflecting the social divide on the issue of firearms, the decision came on a 5-4 vote of justices.

It would have surprised and shocked our nation's Founders that the issue even went as far as the Supreme Court. Their intention in writing the Second Amendment was clear.

Justice John Paul Stevens' dissent from the ruling makes the point that too many Americans simply don't understand that. He wrote that justices upholding the Second Amendment "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate the civilian uses of weapons."

But that is precisely and specifically what the Framers intended.

So, while the court's Second Amendment ruling was a victory it also was an important, troubling reminder: Our rights, once solid, require constant defense against those who, like Stevens, believe that government's authority should be expanded, not limited.



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