Gun Violence & the Second Amendment

Recent mass shootings in Florida and Nevada have ignited public debate over more stringent and effective gun laws. There is now strong interest in requiring background checks for guns sold at gun shows and in denying access to firearms by those who are a danger to others.

It is no threat to the Second Amendment to remove from civilian hands weapons that are designed exclusively to kill other human beings. There are many military weapons that the average civilian cannot own, and whatever laws, regulations and security practices keep them out of the hands of mass murderers should be applied to assault weapons.

Nationwide there are many different opinions about what the Second Amendment means and how it should be interpreted; but in Texas the Second Amendment grants us a dimension of freedom that we will not surrender easily, especially in this District. Others may laugh at our conviction that guns can save us from tyranny, but our history says otherwise. Other parts of the country are so settled that snakes, coyotes and other natural predators are not a hazard, but our huge open plains are different.

Texans want to be reassured that their elected representatives will not “sell out” to those who would disarm us completely, and I’m one of those Texans. I am a lifelong gun owner. I grew up in the Panhandle owning and shooting guns of many calibers and gauges. While on active duty I earned the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon – with silver “E” denoting an Expert pistol shot. I support and defend the Second Amendment in both words and deeds.

But I believe we can maintain the Second Amendment without arming those who are a threat to society or themselves, without arming those who are dangerously maladjusted, and without adding to someone’s personal arsenal weapons for which there is no legitimate self-defense or sporting need.

Paid for by the Greg Sagan for Congress Committee.