To the Editor:
Several letters to the editor as well as editorials and statements by our County Board members in last week’s Daily Chronicle indicate how some people are willing to surrender their constitutional rights for a little safety. I applaud Sheriff Sullivan for his decision to uphold the constitutional right to keep and bear arms as put forth in the Second Amendment.
Many have argued that the sheriff does not have the right to “cherry-pick” the laws that he will enforce. However, the sheriff has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Clearly the new gun law banning certain types of firearms is a violation of the Second Amendment and will eventually be declared unconstitutional as most other gun control laws have been, for example, McDonald v. the City of Chicago.
One letter provided an analogy about not having the right to blow through a red light, but the analogy is faulty because driving a motor vehicle is a privilege and not a constitutionally-guaranteed right. The fact that a drunk driver can have his drivers’ license revoked with no due process indicates that driving is a privilege that the state can and should control.
Congress as well as various state General Assemblies have frequently passed laws that violate citizens’ constitutional rights. Let me remind everyone that the “separate but equal” and Jim Crow laws should never have been enforced. The law that Martin Luther King, Jr “broke” was for parading without a permit in Birmingham, Alabama. The state was violating the protestors’ First Amendment right to peaceably assemble by categorizing the protest as a “parade.” There is nothing wrong with requiring a permit for a parade but not when that law is used to violate constitutional protection.
Our Second Amendment, however, clearly states that people have the right to keep and bear arms. It does not specify which arms an individual may bear. This amendment was not put into the Constitution to protect hunters or skeet shooters but rather to protect an individual’s right to self defense.
Put succinctly by Benjamin Franklin, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Susan Smith Lindell