As I listen to the debate about guns in America, it seems to me that those who favor an absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment do so to divert attention from their complicity in every mass shooting in this country. Here’s how:
• If you oppose a ban on military style assault rifles, you are complicit;
• If you oppose a ban on bump stocks, you are complicit;
• If you oppose banning magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds, you are complicit;
• If you oppose a waiting period when buying a gun of any kind, you are complicit;
• If you oppose background checks at gun shows or private party purchases, you are complicit;
• If you oppose rigorous background checks for all gun purchases; you are complicit;
• If you believe the Second Amendment is the only one without limitations, you are complicit;
• If you believe that an armed citizenry is necessary for a peaceful society, you are complicit.
Many argue that a committed individual will find a way to commit mass murder, even with these restrictions, but these restrictions will limit the frequency and death toll for such attacks. There is no single measure that will stop all killings in this country, there are just too many guns for that to occur.
What we can do, however, is enact reasonable limitations on guns that recognize the rights of all citizens, not just gun owners. We all have the right to life.
Robert B. Harris, Ph.D
Albany (Feb. 28)