Watching the sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives takes me back to the sixties. They’ve already sung “We Shall Overcome.” Now we need to have a dream.
I have a dream: a dream that I don’t have to ask parents of my child’s friends if they have loaded guns in their home, to protect my child from being killed by his playmates. A dream that I can go to my workplace, a bar, a movie theater, a mall, a navy yard and not have to worry about being killed by gun violence. A dream that children and teachers can go to elementary school, high school, or college without worrying that a mentally unstable person, a domestic terrorist, or a foreign terror sympathizer will show up with a gun. A dream that spouse abusers can’t easily buy a gun to use to murder their spouses, girlfriends, and children. A dream that that our society will turn back from the NRA’s program of all guns, everywhere, all the time to a rational place where we study gun violence and adopt measures that can minimize it.
And if that means limiting the Second Amendment, so what? The right to free speech, guaranteed by the First Amendment, is limited by libel/slander laws and, balanced against public safety, one cannot shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. Every right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights can be limited, when balanced against other rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
I have a right to go about my normal business safely. If anyone in any society has any right, that’s the fundamental one. And if someone’s right to a weapon must be limited so that I can be safe, I vote for safety.
We have had enough. Enough! Enough! Enough!