Thursday, April 4, 2013

Curbing Gun Violence

By Reginald Johnson

The Connecticut legislature has made a well-reasoned response to the tragedy of Newtown and gun violence in general. It is by no means all that should be done, but it’s a very good start.

The new law substantially strengthens Connecticut’s assault weapons ban. This is absolutely correct. Assault weapons are nothing more than killing machines and have no place in our society.

The bill also prohibits the sale of magazine clips holding more than 10 rounds. Another good step, though I think the round limit should be reduced to 5.

I have several hunting guns, both rifles and shotguns. I don’t feel threatened that anyone in government is going to confiscate my guns, either now or in the future.

No right granted under our Constitution is an unlimited right. Just because we have freedom of expression emodied in the First Amendment, we cannot go out and advocate, in speech or in writing, that someone should be murdered. Nor yell “fire!” in a crowded theatre. Other provisions in the Bill of Rights have similar balancing aspects.

There are limits to the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. We cannot buy and sell howitzers, rocket launchers or machine guns.

And we should not be allowed to buy and sell assault weapons.