In the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy, many politicians have made their voices heard regarding the blame game of which side did what and who should have what blame placed on them. Now that the dust has settled slightly from the tension of a week ago, it seems that some are attempting to use this event as a catalyst for legislation that supports their cause.
Today we look at one such case and it comes from the anti-gun camp of Pennsylvania politics. Namely, State Representative Stephen Kinsey of Philadelphia. Kinsey is in the process of writing and introducing legislation that would prohibit anyone participating in or attending a public demonstration in Pennsylvania from possessing a firearm or “other dangerous articles.”
This decision is being made as a response to the incident in Charlottesville (which did have armed citizens, but mind you nobody was shot at Charlottesville) according to Kinsey, who stated the following regarding his reasons for writing up his legislation.
“Following the events that took place in Charlottesville, it is more important now than ever to protect our First Amendment right. Civics teaches us that the right of people to assemble peacefully to express, promote, pursue and defend their beliefs is fundamental to a functioning democracy. The presence of firearms and other dangerous articles place that fundamental right in grave danger.”
Let me just break that argument down piece by piece, because the overall statement is so chock full of incorrect sentiment my head is beginning to spin.
First. It is important to protect the first amendment, especially after what happened in Charlottesville. If you have a grievance with someone or some entity, hash it out. Get vocal, get boisterous, it’s what the founding fathers wanted us to do if we saw something we didn’t agree with. They wrote the first amendment so that we could have the ability to speak our minds without fear of being punished for it.
But that leads me into the second point. While I myself don’t agree with some of the protesters who were armed at Charlottesville, I believe that they had every right to carry and defend themselves in the event of things getting worse. It was Virginia state law, and it is federal law per the second amendment. An amendment that Stephen Kinsey doesn’t seem to care about as much as the first.
If Rep. Kinsey was so adamant about U.S. civics, you would think that he would understand that no one amendment outweighs another. The first amendment and second amendment are equally important in this country and there is no excuse to take away the power of one in order to “give more power” to another.
But Kinsey says that firearms place the right of the first amendment in danger? Does it? Were there not counter-protesters at the event hurling insults and chants at these armed citizens? They didn’t seem too worried about the fact that they were armed. If someone has something to say and they feel it from the bottom of their heart, they’re going to say it no matter how well armed the people who oppose their rhetoric are.
These kinds of things have happened in our history before. Tragedy and especially gun-based tragedy often sparks an attempt at clamping down on gun control, but in this case, it seems that Rep. Kinsey is grasping at straws in an attempt to further his own political ideology. He is equating all gun owners into a similar political sect of society, and that is simply not the case.
Take for example the cases of Donald Trump rallies in Phoenix from March and last week that were filled with armed left-wing protesters. There are people on both sides of the aisle and every side not represented in the government that love the freedom of our second amendment. Maybe if more politicians would understand that this is a country that loves their guns, we could work on sensibly talking about issues, rather than turning them into a partisan bickering point.
Who knows how many lives are being senselessly lost while politicians argue whether or not people should be able to defend themselves? It’s a sad thought.
But as for now, it seems that Rep. Kinsey is on the warpath to grab a few more guns off of the street hoping that it will make a difference in helping heal a growing divide in our nation. Good luck with that.
What do you think of this story? What would you say to Rep. Kinsey given the chance? Do you feel that you have a better grasp of American Gun Law than he does? Let us know in the comments below.