Tyler Andrew: Who are we protecting?
April 6, 2013
"Suicide is a serious problem on college campuses. Suicides attempted with a gun are far more likely to succeed and studies show access to guns significantly increases chances of suicide fatality."
— Diane Mitsch Bush, as copied from http://http://www.dianeforcolorado.com/my-votes-on-2013-bills.php.
This quote is how Rep. Mitsch Bush explains her votes to restrict access to firearms. Am I not the only one who finds it troubling that our elected representative argues against rights granted in the Constitution by stating firearms should be restricted to protect us from ourselves? As an elected representative Mitsch Bush is showing her governing philosophy when she states that a freedom Americans have long embraced can and should be restricted because we may use that freedom to harm ourselves. This is the same argument that brought New York's ban on sodas over 16 ounces. Yet it is even worse, because while consuming large amounts of sugar is shown in study after study to increase the risk of diabetes, is there even a single study that ownership of a "large" capacity magazine increases suicidal thoughts? Is there a study showing concealed carry weapons holders are a danger to themselves or the people around them, especially while intoxicated, as Mitsch Bush suggests? I know the law already bars possession of a firearm while intoxicated.
Can you have a free society when laws are passed to protect the average person from themselves? Colorado's new laws do not state the mentally ill should not be granted firearms. They state that the average Coloradan should not be entrusted with large-capacity magazines or to exchange a firearm, and they must now pay for the background check. I am sure paying for a background check will encourage more Americans to get a background check when they sell or gift a rifle.
Mitsch Bush also voted for the very controversial ban of concealed carry weapons from college campuses. In this argument, Mitsch Bush is stating that even those who are college educated cannot be trusted with a firearm because they may intentionally take their own life. She states "suicide is a key issue in our district." This is how she justifies voting for these laws. However, it only takes one bullet to take your own life, so without banning guns entirely there will be no impact on suicide with firearms. Is there even a shred of evidence that any of these laws would keep guns out of the hands of those who would harm themselves or others? Where does Mitsch Bush draw the line on the Second Amendment, or is the ultimate goal to ban firearms in their entirety? I find it odd that Mitsch Bush and the Colorado Legislature want to restrict my ability to protect myself so that they can protect me from, well, me.
Are we really willing to give up freedom so the government will be able to protect us from harming ourselves? The New York district court recently shot down the 16-ounce soda ban, and there is no right to bear soda in the Constitution. It is not about safety, it is about control.
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