To Gun or Not To Gun

Does the Judicial System have the authority to ban guns from courthouses? That issue was presented before a Pennsylvania trial court; the judge said the Second Amendment, right to bear arms, prevents the Court from banning arms even in the courthouse.

A Pennsylvania appellate court disagreed and ruled that courts do have the right to restrict guns. Although part of the decision is based on where the gun may be — in the courtroom, in the judge’s chambers or in the halls of the buildings. That seems to be “splitting the hair” too thinly!

While the gun lobby is very strong in this country, it seems to me that carrying a weapon is subject to reasonable restrictions, just as is “free speech.” The First Amendment does not give one the right to yell “fire” in a crowded theatre. I’m not sure how or why the gun lobby has been so successful in being treated differently.

The argument that “guns don’t kill, people do” evades the conclusion that restricted access reduces the opportunity to use the weapon for offensive purposes. And, historically, the Second Amendment was not created to allow personal attacks, but rather to prevent political abuse by a tyrrany.

I suspect that the current challenge/argument in Pennsylvania is merely a precursor to further litigation. Stay tuned, as they say.


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