The Second Amendment is a fundamental right

All of us share the grief of the criminal use of guns but we must realize there is no easy answer to the problem of violence we face in our country. Some of us recognize a simple reality — there are bad people who do bad things. No amount of laws will change that. Indeed, murder and assault are crimes but these events still occur. Some naively assert that just one more law, one more regulation, will change that.

Experience has shown that banning guns does not curb violent acts. One needs to look no further than states or cities with some of the nation’s toughest gun-restriction laws. President Obama’s home town of Chicago, for instance, is the gun-control capital of America, and yet the city witnessed 500 murders in 2012. Is gun control in Chicago effective? Clearly not. Still this president plans to double down on a policy that will not make people any safer.

When you limit an individual’s ability to lawfully purchase or carry firearms you allow only those with the intent to break the law to have weapons. According, to the Brady Campaign, Connecticut had the fifth toughest gun laws in the country before the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Connecticut had a number of gun-restrictions in place and all of these laws were broken by the shooter in Newton. A 1999 study by the Justice Department even concluded that Bill Clinton’s semi-auto ban did nothing to reduce crime or shootings. This goes back to my conclusion above: bad people do horrible things and criminals break laws.

President Obama and his anti-gun advocates, knowing that banning firearms has a long record of failure, show that their intent is to, literally, disarm their political opposition and trample on the Constitution for added effect.

The fact is, for the past few weeks, the Obama-Biden Administration has sought to take crass political advantage of high profile tragedies in its attempt to pass unconstitutional legislation.

I, along with many other Americans, found President Obama’s display at Wednesday’s press conference despicable; using children as actors in his political theater. The president, bringing fresh meaning to the term “nanny state,” based his proposals on recommendations from a group of first-graders. Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg should ask first-graders about the ban on soda. I would urge President Obama to start consulting the Constitution for advice.

We must focus on real and localized solutions to reducing violent crime and keeping our families safe. We can begin by encouraging our local communities to work with law enforcement and prioritize school safety. We should also look at ways to improve mental health services, so that we can intervene early and curb violent behavior before it happens. On the two prior points, the president and I agree. Yet, the rest of his $500 million-dollar proposal is an unconstitutional gun-grab.

Many of the potential solutions to gun violence should not come dictated from the federal government nor should they infringe upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. There are constitutionally sound ways of dealing with this serious issue. President Obama’s political jockeying cannot and should not overwhelm facts, experience, and the Constitution.

Gosar is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

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