by Jeff Kaufman, M.D.
Three proposed City Charter changes, those dealing with firearms, butt heads with the 2nd Amendment, which protects the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Of all 27 amendments, this right is comes in as number 2 !
The 1st Amendment protects specific FREEDOMS, freedoms not spelled out in the Constitution,
but, felt to be critically important by the framers and placed before all others.
These are the Freedoms of Religion, of the Press, of Assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The 2nd Amendment helps ENSURE and PRESERVE those freedoms.
Some people misunderstand the 2nd Amendment, thinking it was intended to protect the rights of hunters and the right to defend one’s self, family and home against deadly threat.
While the 2nd Amendment does protect our right to keep and use firearms for these purposes, the framers placed the 2nd Amendment in the # 2 position for a more important reason.
After specifying our freedoms, they knew that Keeping and Bearing firearms was Necessary not only then, but forever. Because the 2nd Amendment is the inalienable right necessary to protect against TYRANNY.
We remember recent tragedies. We all want to prevent harm to our children, to our citizenry.
We may all want to “Do Something” when we hear about injury to others. However, from physicians back to Hippocrates, we learn “First Do No Harm”.
There is no empiric evidence, whatsoever, that the measures this City Council seeks to emplace will reduce, by even one, a life or a single injury. From its initial overreaching proposals, the Council is operating strictly on speculation and conjecture. However, by definition, these measures WILL RESTRICT the inalienable right of each and every person living in Burlington who chooses to use a firearm in defense of their lives and those of their family. These acts will similarly restrict the rights of every person who travels through or comes to Burlington to visit. Thousands of acts of restricted rights on a daily basis without ONE SINGLE shred of PROOF that any firearm related injury or death will be prevented.
The City Council would “First Do Much Harm” !
What may have begun as well meaning, is instead fear based and emotion driven, a reflex reaction devoid of any real objective expectation of benefit. The loss, however, is worse.
This City Council has entered into the realm of the tyrant.