In response to Jon Schwartz’s letter concerning limitation of the Second Amendment, he, like many others, passed over the original intent of the amendment.
The amendment reads a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. It is the only amendment in the Constitution that states a specific purpose.
The right of the people to keep and bear arms was established to maintain a balance. The Founders had just come out of a long war of independence from a tyrannical government. They understood that any government could become tyrannical. For that purpose, Thomas Jefferson penned that if ever a government became destructive of the rights of the people, it was the duty of the people to throw off that government and establish a new one.
Keeping and bearing arms, as a populace as equally armed as the government, kept the balance the Founders sought and allowed for Jefferson’s direction on handling tyrannical governments.
The problem with the firearms limitations that the government has supported over the last few years is a simple one: It only affects legally purchased guns. How many criminals are legally purchasing their guns? Using the rule of law to limit legal purchases will potentially limit a person’s ability to defend themselves. As for assault weapons, are not any weapons used in an assault technically assault weapons?
Yes, safety should be a priority, but safety with anything comes not from government regulation but from user education. Our biggest failing as a nation is a lack of user training and safety classes when it comes to firearms. Many of the accidental shootings would cease with proper training.
To compare owning firearms to shouting fire in a crowded theater is a bit of a stretch. Yelling fire in a theater can be done to maliciously injure someone. Owning a firearm for hunting or solely for self-defense comes with no malicious intent toward another person.