Why do gun advocates always take the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution and compare it to the first amendment as a way to refute gun control?
Recently, presidential candidate Rand Paul was featured on an episode of the daytime talk show, The View and he — as many other gun nuts have before — said that regulating the use and sale of firearms is the same as censoring free speech.
One would have to assume that people use the first amendment in these far-fetched comparisons because it’s a right that the general public is most familiar with and exercise regularly.
That reasoning, however, still doesn’t excuse the fact that there is no real comparison between the two, unless you try to argue that all of the mass shootings that occurred in 2015 were carried out using word of mouth, pens and keyboards.
All jokes aside, a key differentiating factor gun advocates tend to ignore is that free speech is actually REGULATED.
You can’t legally use free speech to incite panic, you can’t make false statements without consequences, you can’t legally go around slandering and/or threatening people and there are strict prohibitions related to obscenity.
Free speech restrictions are fairly strict and clear, but gun laws are not.
Due to this leniency, guns are getting into the hands of the wrong people resulting in countless untimely and devastating deaths.
For argument's sake, let's take a look at driving laws which are more realistic to compare with gun restrictions.
Although driving a car is a privilege and not a right, the law acknowledges that a person could damage personal property, kill or injure someone while behind the wheel of a car. Therefore, you're required to learn the rules of the road, take a test, have valid insurance and keep your vehicle registered in order to legally operate a car.
Bearing arms may be a constitutional right, but guns have the same risks associated with them as cars do and yet there are loopholes galore among the current gun laws.
Also important to note, while driving a car and shooting a gun clearly have similar risks associated with each of them, exercising free speech does not.
Speech can cause harm, of course, but not nearly to the same degree as firearms.
President Barack Obama recently had enough of all the back and forth about gun control and took executive action with improved safety laws and comprehensive background checks which has right-wingers up in arms claiming Obama wants to infringe upon citizens' rights and take their guns away.
This pro-gun logic is what Paul was defending on The View when he made the terrible comparison that bamboozles Americans into thinking that guns and free speech are comparable.
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