Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Second Amendment 'rights' run wild


By PAT MURPHY

If Arizona's state Legislature, now in session, fulfills its blood-oath bond with the National Rifle Association, the state will become the 41st to legalize carrying concealed handguns into restaurants that serve alcohol. Arizona restaurants oppose the legislation. However, restaurateurs discovered their rights have scant standing when the NRA yelps that gun owners deserve their "rights" and obliging politicians jump.

Long ago when the NRA was founded as an educational rifle owners' and sportsmen's organization, handguns and militant overkill about the Second Amendment had no discernible roles. Then an ultra-conservative element took over and transformed the NRA into a political juggernaut with a war chest of millions of dollars to threaten politicians with defeat if they didn't dance to the NRA tune.

The NRA has rewritten the Second Amendment to be anything it pleases. Where does the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"—grant unrestricted "rights" to gun owners?

Now the "rights" have been expanded to include concealed guns in restaurants, guns on campus, guns on hips in public and battlefield semi-automatic guns in the family armory, among others. The pastor of the New Bethel Church in Louisville, Ky., asked his congregation to bring guns to the Sunday service, presumably some sort of religious consecration of tools for killing

Is this the "well regulated militia" the Second Amendment calls for?

Most professional law enforcement organizations oppose the growing list of gun "rights" that have made the streets dangerous for police.

The NRA has been shamefully mute in campaigning to debunk the nonsense of wacko rumormongers that President Obama plans to take away their weapons. The wild talk recently touched off a spree of gun purchases across the nation.

Many, many sensible gun owners don't cotton to all these "rights" promoted by the NRA or its political scare tactics. Include me. I'm no anti-gun crusader. I own handguns and while in the service qualified on every infantry bullet weapon through .50 caliber machine gun and since then have fired Gulf War-era weapons.

There's something peculiar about people who're obsessed with packing a concealed handgun for fear they may need to defend themselves in a gunfight in such places as a restaurant. NRA argues it's a matter of self-defense.

If more and more Americans are packing guns, who're the ones that can be trusted and who're the nuts ready to open fire?




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