Op-Ed: A Right to Bear Arms?

by Sidd Sinha

The UConn Law Review’s recent discussion on gun rights in America shows that, regardless of one’s stance on the issue of the right to carry firearms, the threats of injury are increasingly common. 

Just in the past few weeks, gun scares at Central Connecticut State University (“CCSU”) and at the Los Angeles Airport (“LAX”) serve as a catalyst for more people fearing that there are precautions that need to be taken to make one safe.

Even though there are measures we can all take to be safer, it seems that all these efforts side step the elephant in the room: liberal gun rights force the rest of society to follow stricter rules. For example, LAX now has individuals check their bags inside the airport then wait in a line that can extend through several terminals outdoors for a pre-screening before one enters the airport to go through final security. It can delay someone from 20 minutes to over an hour, and if gun violence and threats continue to be prevalent, it should be expected that even more hurdles will be put in place at other airports and in public places, such as parks and even restaurants.

While a main argument by those who favor gun rights is that it is a right that is derived from the Constitution, that perspective ignores the notion that other parts of the Constitution guarantee rights with limitations. Isn’t that the reason we created the hypothetical that bars one from being able to yell “fire” in a movie theatre?  Whether you think the Constitution is a living, breathing document or is to be followed based on the intentions of those who drafted it, it can and has been amended.

After September 11th, America had a drastic increase in airport security, and we saw our freedoms limited by terrorists. By allowing loose gun regulation and limiting our lives through extra security checks and longer lines to get into public venues, gun advocates are the ones forcing restrictions on society. Essentially, do you want rules that limit everyone in everyday activities or rules that just limit the group that feels compelled to need to have a gun? There are likely a lot of people who may prefer the latter, but there’s a strong argument in support of a life without being reminded constantly of reasons to be afraid.