Things We’re Thankful For: The Fight for the Right to Bear Arms

Men trained in arms from their infancy, and animated by the love of liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy conquest.

The Declaration of the Continental Congress, July 1775.

Thanksgiving is a time for Americans to look back at our history and give thanks for our freedoms, our loved ones, the food on the table, and of course, the .375 Holland & Holland that is secured in a locked safe in the garage.

Ruger No.1

Sure, no one outside of Africa needs a rifle capable of hunting elephants. No one needs the new Ke$ha album either. But in America, we are free. Free to love terrible music. Free to shoot rifles at targets. Free to worship freely, or not worship at all.

Make no mistake, like all freedoms, some restrictions are perfectly fine. We cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theatre. We cannot erect crosses on government land. But our rifles remain loaded and our mouths open, no matter how asinine our opinions may seem to others.

When it comes to firearms, many people have an all-or-nothing approach. They argue against all restrictions on guns because of slippery slopes or claim that all guns should be outlawed because they are dangerous and easily misused.

Chicago has previously banned handguns. In 2010, that ban was overturned by the Supreme Court. A modified version of the ban was again overturned earlier this year. Efforts are underway to replace that ban with another ban … and another ban … and another ban.

That is the beauty of our system of government. When a law is passed that goes too far, another part of the system will fight the overreaching. Eventually, a compromised version of the law will survive challenges because some restrictions are okay. After all, no one wants to see this guy carrying an automatic weapon.

Maybe the next compromise will involve better background checks. Maybe it will involve a ban on semi-automatic weapons. Maybe it will involve restrictions on magazine size or calibers. Let’s hope not. There are few things more fun than shooting a Barrett .50 BMG.

In the meantime, no matter what your feelings might be on gun control, an important case to keep an eye on is a challenge to Maryland’s concealed carry permit laws. The suit seeks to turn all states into shall issue states, meaning anyone who passes a background check can obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The case was argued last month. A decision either way will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Should the court rule that the right to bear arms extends outside of the home, a future where the two people next to you are carrying firearms is completely feasible.

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Things We’re Thankful For: The Fight for the Right to Bear Arms