Enter to win every day in CTNOW's 21 Days of Summer Giveaways. Click here to see today's prize.

Constitutional rights are not unrestricted

In his letter opposing reasonable gun control, Doug McNeil asserts that the government cannot require a license or fingerprints as a condition of gun ownership because gun ownership is a constitutional right ("Gun licensing won't reduce crime," March 3). But both requirements are routinely imposed on the exercise of other constitutional rights.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that marriage is a fundamental right. Yet, as everyone who has ever been married in this country knows, every state requires that couples obtain a marriage license before they can marry. Similarly, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that there is a fundamental right to have and raise children. As an adoptive parent, I can tell you that the state requires couples to be fingerprinted and submit to an FBI background check before they are approved for adoption.

Opponents of gun control are entitled to their opinions and to their arguments. They are not, however, entitled to their own facts. Let us put to rest the falsehood that the government can place no restrictions on the exercise of a constitutional right. If the government can do so for marriage and having children, there is no sound reason why it cannot do so for gun ownership. Indeed, the Supreme Court, in affirming that the Second Amendment creates an individual right to own guns, explicitly stated that the government can indeed impose reasonable restrictions on the exercise of that right.

Sheldon H. Laskin

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
Related Content
  • License gun purchases

    License gun purchases

    Thanks to Rep. Donna Edwards for her eloquent op-ed on the need to do more to prevent gun violence ("Dealing with guns demands more than another moment of silence," July 7).

  • NRA selectively interprets 2nd Amendment

    NRA selectively interprets 2nd Amendment

    As sure as nine people have been butchered by yet another gun-wielding maniac, there will be an outcry for more laws controlling the sale and registration of firearms, and the NRA will again claim they are heroically upholding the Second Amendment rights of every American citizen by opposing such...

  • Do concealed guns reduce crime? Let's find out

    Do concealed guns reduce crime? Let's find out

    Despite expert opinions, statistics and moral condemnations, the debate on gun control continues. Until the law permits everyone who wants to carry a concealed weapon to do so legally, there is insufficient data to decide for or against ("How to reduce gun violence," June 12).

  • How to reduce gun violence

    How to reduce gun violence

    At a time when Baltimore could desperately use some good news when it comes to the prospects of reducing violence, research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests we may already have taken a key step toward preventing gun homicides — it just may take a few years for us...

  • NRA's paranoia is catching

    NRA's paranoia is catching

    The Sun's editorial reflecting on the National Rifle Association convention in Nashville is an important statement on how the NRA has devalued our lives and our society ("Guns and the 'permanent darkness,'" April 16).

  • Guns and the 'permanent darkness'

    Guns and the 'permanent darkness'

    By overwhelming margins, polls show Americans support universal background checks for those seeking to purchase a firearm to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are dangerously mentally ill. Clearly, the last thing you want is for some paranoid personality, ranting and raving...

  • Fix the background check

    Fix the background check

    As inspiring and overdue as America's reassessment of the Confederate battle flag has been since last month's Charleston shootings, those who wish to truly honor the victims need to set their sights to an even higher purpose. Late last week, FBI director James Comey acknowledged that alleged shooter...

  • What gun rights and marriage equality (should) have in common

    What gun rights and marriage equality (should) have in common

    In the article, "A unique Maryland marriage sits at center of Supreme Court case considering gay nuptials" (March 13), Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, is quoted as saying the following:

Comments
Loading

84°