Ardent gun advocates typically invoke the Second Amendment as the justification for their right to bear arms. What none have ever explained is how they go from the constitutional wording of “well regulated militia” to virtually no gun restrictions.
It is a stretch to identify the gun-owning populace of this country as a “militia” in the first place, but even granting that, regulation of guns is not an infringement on the right to bear arms, any more than slander and libel laws infringe on freedom of speech or press. Yelling fire in a crowded theater may be freedom of speech too, but the potential and actual harm it causes outweighs any claim of protection under a constitutional right. Our Founding Fathers recognized that liberties entail responsibility and, necessarily, restriction. Rights cease to be unrestricted when their practice undermines the very society they are intended to safeguard.
Christian S. Saller • St. Louis