Letters and Opinion

Column read like Fox audition

April 7, 2012

[Greg Morris’ March 26 column], where we are warned about an upcoming “full scale attack on our Second Amendment rights” and that people in D.C. “are waiting … to strip us of our right to own and carry a firearm” and ending with the dire warning to “purchase firearms while you still can” because this constitutional right is “in extreme danger,” reads more like an audition to be the next fear-mongering talking head on Fox News instead of the thoughtful commentary we have come to expect from the IBJ.

The right to carry a firearm is protected by the Constitution as well as the U.S. Supreme Court; we also have legislative and executive branches of our government full of people who are sworn to uphold the law and do.

Possessing a weapon is not an unlimited right, nor is driving a car, nor is running a business, nor are many other aspects of our daily lives.

This commentary came shortly after a teenage boy shot five people in downtown Indianapolis. And have we forgotten the teenage boy in Sanford, Fla., who was “armed” with a package of Skittles and killed supposedly in self defense by a citizen with a license to carry a gun and who was told by the police not to confront the boy? And what about the mentally unbalanced Arizona resident who lawfully owned a semi-automatic weapon and killed six people last year at a political event in Tucson?

We need to pass and enforce laws dealing with gun ownership, possession and use. The difficulty has been finding the right balance between the rights of an individual and the expectations of all citizens to live in peace.

The effort to demonize the mayor of Chicago is more misguided anger or an addendum to the Fox News audition. Chicago’s gun control laws, as well as those of Illinois, predate the election of the current mayor of Chicago. Do those laws keep Morris or any other mentally stable, law-abiding citizen from owning a gun? The answer is a loud no.

Fear mongering is not a substitute for thinking nor does it help to find solutions to difficult, Constitution-based questions.

A thoughtful commentary on gun ownership and individual rights versus everyone’s expectation of living in a safe and peaceful environment could be helpful. Morris is capable of providing just such a column. Let’s hope he does.

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Jerry Williams
 

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