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SPOTLIGHT
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Gun restrictions

Published on -3/27/2013, 1:32 PM

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In attacking the NRA, "NRA doing what it can to draw in supporters, money" (The Hays Daily News, March 22), Mike Corn also expressed his support of limits to gun possession.

Ridiculing the NRA's membership fees and its funding activities does not taint its courageous aims and activities. We should all support the NRA in its efforts to keep our gun rights intact.

Using logic that the Second Amendment is of lesser importance than the First Amendment because it came after the first, one could never list two or more equally important things without implying that the first is most important. We are in immediate need for air, and we also need water for survival, but is air more important because we must seek it first?

Limits on exercising the rights of the First Amendment do not extend to the Second Amendment. The First prohibits Congress (but it allows the courts to make case-law restrictions when rights clash) from "abridging" freedom of the press and speech and the Second prohibits "infringement" (encroachment) on the right to bear arms by anyone or anything (even inadvertently) to protect citizen sovereignty. It's absurd to think that those who believed it was the citizens' duty to overthrow an oppressive government would provide authority for it to limit their ability to do so. Registering guns and checking backgrounds also may be encroachment.

States cannot violate this constitutional provision either. Colorado's gun restriction law is invalid. Sheriffs, like Colorado Weld County Sheriff John Cooke, who swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, are correct in refusing to enforce such laws. Let's elect more of them.

Think oppression can't happen here? Neither did people in Rwanda, Russia and Germany. The adages, "He who learns nothing from history is doomed to repeat it" and "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" apply in this matter. Sen. Joseph McCarthy lacked evidence, but was he 100 percent wrong in accusing some officials of being Communists?

By our ignorance of our rights and governance, blind trust in our leaders and complacence, we are allowing governments to usurp powers that the Constitution did not grant them. Guns are not a problem; people using them irresponsibly are. Correct the people problem (self-indulgence, immorality, insanity), and leave gun rights alone.

Milton Leiker

Hays

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