Letter: Countering Mr. Robbins
In response to Mr. Robbins’ guest opinion (2/24/18), the resounding response should be no. Our constitutional right to bear arms is not subject to reinterpretation as a result of another mass shooting. Mr. Robbins argues that the Second Amendment is “open to interpretation”; however, any textualist in Constitutional interpretation would whole-heartedly disagree.
The problem with leaving our constitutional rights subject to “interpretation” is our politicized court system — just the reason so many elected officials run to the 9th Circuit for rulings during this Republican presidency.
Mr. Robbins claims there aren’t enough regulations and limitations on your Second Amendment rights. When in fact the Second Amendment is the most regulated Constitutional right already. You have to be 18 to purchase a long gun, 21 to buy a handgun, undergo and pay for a background check, limitation on magazine capacity (in Colorado), limitations on where you can carry your firearm, and significant restrictions on purchasing and owning Title II weapons (including automatic firearms and suppressors, to name a few).
Despite these restrictions and many more, Mr. Robbins calls for more limitations on owning “assault weapons.” I have to ask whether Mr. Robbins has ever shot a firearm? Does he even know what “AR” stands for or the difference between Title I and Title II firearms? Mr. Robbins, please do us a favor and stop writing opinion pieces about tools you are unfamiliar with and terminology you are unwilling to take the time to adequately learn.
Mr. Robbins admits that “there is a time and place for self-protection,” but then absurdly limits this need to “rural backwaters.”
How about you take a look at the “rural backwaters” of my former home city of Chicago? The average police response time from placing a 911 call is 10-15 minutes. You don’t have to live in a rural part of this country to need a firearm for self-protection during that time span. Take the time to ask hardworking families in inner city whether they need a firearm for protection.
It’s easy for folks who live in safe, wealthy communities in this country to say no need to have a firearm for self-protection, but the reality is much different. My guess is Mr. Robbins would be the first one clamoring behind the nearest conceal carry permit holder during a shooting clinging to his iPhone. Let’s not kid ourselves about the reality of the world we live in and our need for self-protection.
Rather than attacking our Second Amendment rights after every mass shooting, lets look for practical solutions: improving our mental health system and providing adequate security in our schools. It’s time to end gun-free school zones and allow our educators and administrators the ability to protect themselves and our children.
I know many educators, who either already have their conceal carry permits or are willing to get the permit and necessary training. These are responsible adults we already entrust with the education and safety of our children. We need to stop stripping these folks of their Second Amendment rights at the school entrance and allow them the opportunity to protect our children during the 10-15 minute police response time.
Our Second Amendment is not open to “reinterpretation”; however our school policies and procedures are open to revision to address the unfortunate realities we face.