Students supporting gun-rights and the NRA, left, face off with student gun-control advocates, right, during a gathering of several hundred Barrington High School students at Memorial Park during the ENOUGH National School Walkout on Wed., March 14, 2018 in Barrington, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Guest Opinion: Defending the Second Amendment


The following guest opinion is in response to a guest opinion on March 27 called ‘The case for better gun regulations.’

I, too, am a “Bleeding Heart.” Just because I support the right to keep and bear arms does not mean I take any loss of life with less heartbreak than anyone else. I grieve for anyone affected by firearm violence, anywhere in the world.

Phyllis Morris is correct in the statement that there are as many gun deaths in the U.S. as there are vehicle deaths. But this figure includes suicide. In the United States, three times more people die in vehicle accidents than by firearm-related homicides. Any loss of life is horrible, but the correct statistics must be applied when discussing people’s personal safety.

Morris is are correct in the statement that we regulate the use of cars and motor vehicles to protect life. Morris said, “We accept these regulation as reasonable limitations to our personal freedom.” But we must remember that driving is considered a privilege, not a right. We also accept regulations on our firearms rights, even though the Second Amendment is a right protected by the Constitution. The National Firearms Act, Federal Firearms Act, Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, Gun Control act of 1968, Firearm Owners Protection Act, Undetectable Firearms Act, Gun-Free School Zones Act, and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act are all federal legislation regulating firearms, not to include ATF regulations and state law.

RELATED: Guest Opinion: The case for better gun regulations

Additionally, Morris stated, “I agree that guns can bring food to our tables. But we don’t shoot a rabbit, squirrel, or pheasant with an assault weapon.” So-called “assault weapons” come in a variety of configurations and calibers, many of which are perfect for hunting anything from large game to squirrels and pheasants. But one must also remember that the Second Amendment is intended for situations other than hunting.

I understand where you are coming from, Phyllis, but if you find yourself in the Iowa City area, look me up. I would love to take you to a shooting range, where we both can learn more from each other’s point of view.

— Jared VanSpeybroeck


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