NEW Letter to the Editor Graphic

Editor's note: This letter to the editor was written in response to the Feb. 23, 2018, column by Scott Johnston.

There is a common misinterpretation of the Second Amendment by many gun rights advocates which suggests the amendment grants citizens the right to unlimited ownership of firearms. The D.C. vs. Heller case is often cited as justification for this assertion. The problem behind this claim is that the Supreme Court never established such a right. Justice Antonin Scalia, who authored the majority opinion on the case, stated “the [Second Amendment] was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment’s right of free speech was not... Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation.” Justice Scalia made it very clear that the Second Amendment does not act as a barrier for gun control.

Furthermore, demands for stricter gun laws and/or a ban on semi-automatic weapons are not illogical; it’s called for. Gun violence in our country is a serious problem and sensible gun control policies are long overdue. Consider that on Christmas Day in 2015, 27 people were killed by guns in America, which is “equal to the total number of people killed in gun homicides in an entire year in Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Estonia, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Iceland, combined.”

Guns are clearly an issue in America, yet the NRA myth which is peddled by many people is that the solution to these issues is more guns. The problem with this argument is that it is based in falsehoods. It is a common fable that guns somehow prevent more violence from occurring, or that murderers target locations which ban firearms. These statements simply do not properly represent facts. It is important that people finally understand that guns are often found to be the problem, not the solution.

Courtland Triplett is a sophomore from Olathe studying political science