The other day a client asked me whether I thought he should go out and buy a firearm. “Why do you want to buy a gun?” I asked. “With everything you’re hearing about Obama trying to take our guns away,” he replied, “Do you think it’s true? Do you think I should buy a firearm?”
We can certainly have a legitimate debate about gun violence. But the claim that President Obama is trying to take our guns away and violate our Second Amendment rights is just a scare tactic. The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms does not include the right of terrorists, felons, drug addicts and the mentally ill to possess deadly weapons. Nor does it include the right to keep whatever kind of weapon you like, whether a machine gun, a tank, or missile. The Second Amendment is not absolute. The right to keep and bear arms has always been subject to reasonable government restrictions.
So we can have a debate about what kind of government regulation is effective. And gun owners and gun enthusiasts should be part of that debate. But to take the position that the Second Amendment does not tolerate any firearms regulation, or to falsely equate regulation of the firearms market with “taking away our guns,” does not celebrate the Second Amendment. It simply promotes the agenda of the gun industry and its lobbyists which is to disseminate a product that has public health costs with zero accountability.