Emmer should watch out what he wishes for | AspenTimes.com

Emmer should watch out what he wishes for

Maurice Emmer deserves our thanks for drawing into sharp focus the divide between those who will not compromise at all on individual liberties and those who believe that accommodation is needed to achieve the common good. Such limits already exist, he knows but will not admit it. For example, just as the First Amendment’s freedom of speech rights are not unlimited, the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms has constraints.

In a reasoning world, tough constitutional problems would be addressed by recognizing personal rights but at the same time striking a balance (like, in the case of guns, recognizing the right to have some weapons but having background checks and the reinstatement of the Brady Act outlawing military weapons and high-capacity magazines). But in the alt-world according to Maurice, that is impossible. Rather, critical social policy would be abandoned, like no more public health and all the societal compromises it entails — gone.

Let’s hope Maurice’s uni-polar world does not come to pass, one where nearly 40,000 gun-related deaths a year is an acceptable price to pay for unbridled liberty.

Neil B. Siegel