Monday, July 23, 2012

Thoughts on the Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment

For better or worse, a national conversation has arisen over gun control after the Aurora, CO mass shooting.  It will fade in a week or two, to rise again after the next shooting.  I have strong opinions and emotions regarding the issue, but I want to do my best to divorce myself from them in order to address one point:  

Those arguing in favor of loose gun laws and the right to carry weapons as they see fit would do well to forgot about the Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment.

The founders of this country were in many ways brave, brilliant men.  I will forever be grateful that they took great risk to set up a country according to their own ideals, with room to expand and grow.  They acted with foresight and reason.

They were also just men.  They were not infallible.  They owned other humans as property.  They did not give women the right to vote.  They did not give unlanded men the right to vote (if you're reading this from a rented apartment, you and your kind couldn't vote until 1850 or so).  They didn't have electricity.  They couldn't easily travel.  They are over 230 years old.  They could not begin to imagine the sort of society their Constitution would govern three centuries later.

Every morning, we wake up as a brand new country.  We look in the mirror, and we see neither the America of yesterday or the America of tomorrow.  Every single day, we have the right, ability, and duty to look at our laws and see what works and what doesn't.  I believe such decisions work best when made using facts and logic.  Dogma has no place in that conversation.  It's a flimsy chair in a pie eating contest.  It's a knock-off purse.  It's Old Testament.

The founders of the country got a lot of things right, and a lot of things wrong.  Thankfully one thing they got right is the ability to cancel or add to what they said.  We've done it before and we'll certainly do it again.

By all means, make your case for or against guns.  Strive to get your point across and change minds.  But do it with evidence, with facts, with reason.  Don't do it because someone else said so.

You do our Founding Fathers a disservice by boiling it down to "they said so."  They didn't take that for an answer, and it led to the creation of the United States.  So neither should you.

Colin Fisher is many things to many people, but mostly he's an actor and writer.

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