Why the Second Amendment Should Matter to Those Who Dislike Guns
By Dave Yost
Congress will consider legislation next month that would require people wanting to speak in public to first undergo a background check and pay a permit fee.
Not really! But how would you react if it was true? What if your other constitutional rights were treated the same was as your right to bear arms? Whether you own a gun or not, the Second Amendment should matter to you – because if one constitutional right can be taken away by majority rule, they all can be.
Imagine if you had to get a government license before you were allowed to freely worship, or to be safe in your own home from warrantless searches and seizures.
Or what if you had to get government permission to own a printing press? Actually, if you carry a cell phone, you carry a printing press in your pocket or purse – you can publish to an email list from your phone as large as the circulation of any colonial newspaper, and more quickly.
If a cell phone is a printing press, are you carrying yours concealed? Do you have a concealed carry permit?
Now, some may argue that guns are more dangerous than a printing press, so guns should be treated differently. Napoleon Bonaparte, who knew a little about danger, said "Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets."
But danger is no reason to curtail rights. Free speech is dangerous – it helped start a revolution, as Thomas Paine or Marie Antoinette could attest. Criminals are dangerous, yet we afford them a vast array of rights.
Imagine the outrage if your right to counsel was legally limited to the courts – if you could not meet your lawyer in a place of business or a house of worship or a public park. A lot of my friends would rather spend time with a shotgun than a lawyer. And, as anyone who has gone through a divorce can attest, more people have been wounded by lawyers than guns.
No, constitutional rights are either reserved to the people and untouchable by the government – or they are nothing at all, except rhetorical window dressing.
Dave Yost is the Delaware Co., OH prosecuting attorney, and a candidate for Ohio Attorney General. Find out more at DaveYost.com.