Right to bear arms is not without limits

You often hear: “The Constitution says I have the right to own guns.” Yes, it does, but having rights requires responsibility, and for some reason many gun advocates believe the right to bear arms is the only constitutional right that is virtually without limits or responsibility for the consequences of uncontrolled gun ownership.

You have the right to practice your religion, but not if it involves human sacrifice. You also have the right of freedom of speech. But you can still be prosecuted for incitement of riot or conspiracy. And you can be sued for libel. Everyone is subject to limitations when his rights become threatening to others.

The Supreme Court has affirmed that there is the individual right to gun ownership, but that the government can put reasonable restrictions on that right. Many gun owners lose their credibility when they use such terms as “looney,” “idjits,” “stupid,” “your brain doesn’t function,” “you must lead a worthless, miserable life” and many others unfit to print, when they are describing those who dare to question their advocacy of their right to ownership of military weapons of the type that I was exposed to in my six years of military service.

James Tomkins Sr.

Grand Island