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Columns

March 5, 2013

2nd Amendment needs rewritten for 21st century

Over the years, I have written mostly about peace and the way our world leaders infringe upon it with war, personal freedom and the way our government tries to steal some away, and the environment, which is under constant assault by corporations.

One topic I have not written about is gun control, and there is a good reason for that. (I can imagine the groans coming from the pro-gun people, who figure I will be advocating the predictable position of the liberal extremist they take me for.) No, I usually avoid the subject because I believe both sides are right.

As a consistently strong advocate for personal freedom, I believe that hardly anything should be banned, and I think our lives are subject to way too many regulations. Each state is different, but over the decades it seems like New York has been at the forefront in regulating its citizens.

New York was quick to accept President Ronald Reagan’s bribe for raising the drinking age to 21; it early on passed a law requiring drivers and passengers to wear seat belts; and it was the same with drivers talking on phones and texting.

I’ve always been one of those people who believe that if it doesn’t hurt anybody, then why should it be illegal? Of course, we all know that the debates about what hurts other people are one thing, and that preventing people from possibly hurting themselves is where governments have strayed all too often. (It took a few tickets for not wearing a seat belt for me to give in and buckle up.)

States have always required people to pay to register motor vehicles and mandated that they pay to have safety inspections each year. Hunters and fishermen have to pay for licenses if they want to into the woods to hunt or go down to a nearby stream to fish. But these kinds of regulations rarely attract public outcries.

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