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Gun law isn't black and white these days

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POSTED: May 17, 2010 12:52 p.m.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently called the expanded gun law passed by the Georgia Legislature “very worrisome.” He couldn’t be more right.
Holder, speaking to a U.S. Senate panel last week, said the Supreme Court has upheld the Second Amendment right to own guns. “That doesn’t mean, however, that that right is one that is absolute,” Holder said. “We have to balance that individual right against our collective security.”
Again, right on. The Second Amendment is not black and white, although it may have been when our nation’s forefathers introduced the Bill of Rights to the first United States Congress in 1789. More than 220 years later; however, there are some gray areas.
Two centuries ago, the right to keep and bear arms was just that. It was simple. If you had a gun, you could keep it and carry it anywhere. The members of that first Congress — who likely all carried guns themselves although, ironically, they may actually have been much safer than we are today — were as broad with the Second Amendment as they needed to be at that time. Today we find ourselves in a more complicated age.
Gun advocates who still claim the law is simple (“I have the right to bears arms. Period.”) are kidding themselves and putting the rest of the population in danger. When the Bill of Rights was created, no one worried about the risks associated with carrying a loaded weapon into a crowded state airport … because no one knew what an airport was or what purpose it might one day serve.
The law must keep up with modern-day developments. As technology improves and the world evolves — creating more of those aforementioned gray areas — the world becomes a much more dangerous place when everyone is packing a gun.
The Georgia Legislature’s decision to allow people with permits to tote firearms into bustling travel hubs is not broadening the law, as some may argue. The move only calls attention to how inflexible the Second Amendment was at its inception, when it was designed to allow the public to either own and carry a gun or not. The guideline was basic in its original form, but we, as a society concerned with the safety and well being of every living human being, don’t have the luxury of taking such a simple stance now.
Gun proponents and lawmakers must realize this.

 

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