All rights have limits, including gun rights
To the editor:
In his April 29 letter, Stephen Roy asserts that liberals are outraged over gun violence and calling for increased regulation, but offers the counterpoint that cars also kill people and no such outrage exists regarding motor vehicles. Perhaps he is actually onto something?
Cars are already heavily regulated. A driver must pass a test to obtain a license, the vehicles themselves must be registered with the state, drivers must carry liability insurance, and there are a huge number of laws aimed specifically at driving. Perhaps similar measures should be contemplated relative to gun ownership and use.
There is an epidemic of gun violence in the United States, and while laws barring guns from being near schools, and statues against murder will not stop those bent upon committing heinous crimes; there is another pertinent fact, doing nothing isn't working. Edmund Burke, the noted English legislator stated "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
None of our rights are without limits. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled (in Schenck v United States, 1919) that even free speech, when it presents a clear and present danger, can be legally infringed upon. Asking that any individual be able to pass a background check to verify that they are not a criminal, or do not suffer from mental health problems, to obtain a gun is not an overly onerous burden.
We could take some common sense steps, like enacting universal background checks and closing the gun show loophole that would preserve the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear, while also working to prevent individuals who should not have access to guns from possessing them.
Brian W. Barnett, Glendale