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The gun debate.

There are no unfettered rights in the original Constitution, nor the Bill of Rights and further Amendments. I am a journalist, and yet despite the 1st Amendment guarantees of a free press, I can be punished for things I write, and also can be prevented from publishing them beforehand.

As a citizen, the Supreme Court has also determined that my free speech rights can be denied in certain areas. I'm not talking about sneaking onto a nuclear facility, but about cities designating "free speech zones" during events.

There are limits also on the 2nd Amendment- they are already in place.

I am a gun owner, and a veteran. While in the service, I qualified as an Expert Rifleman with an M-16, and a Sharpshooter with a .45 and 9mm. I also qualified basic on an M-60. I've used an M-204 grenade launcher and thrown a live hand grenade. I've directed live indirect fire (mortars). I've deployed a Claymore anti-personnel mine. I've launched an AT4 (shoulder launched explosive).

All of these weapons are not legal for personal use in the United States. (With the exception of the civilian version of the AR-15, which is not available in fully-automatic form in the U.S., semi-automatic, only.) - There are a few exceptions to these rules, generally for demonstration purposes or special-use permits. But they are not available to the general public.

Citizens are also not allowed to own a fully-operational M1 Abrams tank, ICBMs, Howitzers, F-16s, or Phalanx systems. For good reason.

The current call for changes to gun laws are not draconian. Most are focused on background checks being extended to gun shows, and also on limiting the capacity of magazines- which was done in the 1990s and was upheld as Constitutional. The law banning them had a built-in expiration that was not renewed.

All this talk about the 2nd Amendment being violated is hyperbolic. There's no slippery slope, either.

I accept that society needs some restrictions on the 1st Amendment- Yelling "Fire" in a crowded building, or "Gun" in a movie theater or classroom... and I accept that the 2nd Amendment has limitations, too. And that the Supreme Court of the United States, which is tasked with determining legality and Constitutionality, will ultimately rule the same.

I do think the original intent of the 2nd Amendment was for the people to be able to fight off, or even overthrow, the federal government by having access to the same firepower as the government. After all, our Founding Fathers were revolutionaries who had already overthrown one government.

However, a semi-automatic with even a high-capacity magazine is not sufficient for those purposes. So, either a person believes that the 2nd Amendment still means having the same firepower as the government, in which case you would be in favor of me, Bill Gates or any other American having full access to nukes and fighter jets. (Assuming financial ability.) Because that is the firepower it would take.

Or it means that you agree that there have to be limits on that aspect- that people can't have the same awesomely destructive weapons as the government.

Now, you may think no more limits can be made- but seriously- nobody is fighting off the US Army, the Marines, the Air Force or the Navy ... with an AR15. Doesn't matter if you have a 30-round clip. So that argument is lame.

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