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Second Amendment is not negotiable

If the Democratic party does, as some have threatened, treat gun control as a political bargaining chip by attaching such measures to something of considerably less significance than the constitutionally guaranteed right in the Second Amendment, they should be ashamed of themselves.

This right should not be treated in such a cavalier manner any more than should the guaranteed rights in amendments one, three and four through eight.

Part of the discussion regarding the Second Amendment is whether or not it is an individual or collective right.

Several states threatened to not ratify the constitution unless assured there would be consideration of and debate regarding a Bill of Rights to protect the individual.

During the debate of Sept. 9, 1789, the Senate voted in the negative, meaning no, to insert the words “for the common defense” next to the words “to bear arms” in what eventually was ratified as the Second Amendment.

As to the validity and value of the amendment, a 1999 decision by a U.S. District Court in The United States versus Emerson “rejected a prudential or consequentialist argument that the social costs of the amendment outweigh its utility.”

That utility is being the right specified and the capacity to defend that right and freedom in general whether from oppressive individuals or oppressive government.

Before suggesting counter-arguments, consider if it is possible to articulate a philosophical argument explaining why a law-abiding citizenry should have an unalienable right infringed or abrogated.

Timothy Toroian

Altoona

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