Friday, February 8, 2013

Freedom is not unlimited

    Physical and emotional health are the minimal standard to qualify for service in today’s military.
    According to today’s Army regulations, mood disorders including major depression, bipolar disorder and affective psychoses stop someone from carrying weapons. The mentally ill cannot serve in the military, but there is no such standard for being armed as a civilian.
    The Second Amendment, which allows gun ownership as part of a “well regulated militia,” was never intended to permit the delusional and the depressed to wander around with uncontrolled weapons to kill whomever they please.
    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia, and to use that weapon for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense within the home.
    The Second Amendment, however, is no more absolute in law than is the First Amendment regarding religion and speech. Of the protection of the right to unregulated speech, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that free speech could not include yelling “fire” in a crowded theater and causing a panic.
     Totally, unregulated rights can create dangerous situations as well. The military recognizes the awful power of modern weaponry and sets limits on who has access to that power.  The courts recognize the awful power of misused words.
    When it comes to the Second Amendment, we should acknowledge that the same rationale should apply.

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