Letter: With rights come responsibilities

To the Editor:

After the killings at Newtown, we seem prepared at last to examine the place of guns in our society. For too long it has been assumed that we must remain silent. Gun regulation has been the great untouchable.

All of our rights come with responsibilities and limitations. Among the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, I especially cherish our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. However, every schoolchild learns Oliver Wendell Holmes’ example of limitations on freedom
of speech – that you may not falsely shout “fire” in a crowded theater.

It is time to acknowledge that there are limitations, too, on our Second Amendment right to bear arms. Newtown has shown us that as long as we maintain an absolute hands-off attitude to gun regulation, we fail to meet one of our most solemn responsibilities – our children’s safety.

Don Richgels

DeKalb

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