ROSE NOLEN: Constitution provides freedom of choice, even for things we don't like

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 | 3:55 p.m. CDT

I believe in freedom of choice.

Still, at the rate we’re going, I don’t think it will be long before we are back debating Roe v. Wade again. Some Americans are never going to believe in the separation of church and state. I don’t believe they have to. What they do have to accept is that the separation of church and state is the law of the land as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nevertheless some state legislators seem determined to override that law, and some states will be back in court before too long. The problem is not that some people feel that abortion is wrong for themselves. They feel it is wrong, period, and they want to make it impossible for anyone to have to have it done. That’s where it becomes a problem.

I don’t believe people should be able to buy assault weapons because they are a danger to everyone around them. The law allows them to do this under the Second Amendment. Mass murders happen, and people continue to lose loved ones through no fault of their own. The only thing I can do about this is to try to avoid being knowingly in their presence. I feel that people who buy these weapons are a threat to everyone. In the meantime, I have no choice but to wait until the Supreme Court changes its mind.

Some people are careless. They live with children in the house, and they leave weapons unprotected. Some people are mentally disturbed, and they feel justified in using their weapons at will. Other people want weapons that they can carry around to protect themselves.

Personally, I believe in laws that give individuals the right to do things that are not harmful to other people. For example, when cigarette smoking was proven to be harmful to people, non-smoking laws were put in some public places. Cigarettes were not outlawed, and adults can still smoke privately.

A lot of people have become paranoid about their weapons and feel that other people are trying to take them away. I think what most people are trying to do is cut down the homicide rate and make it safer to walk down the street. I have no interest whatsoever in taking people’s guns away. I just have no interest in being in their presence. What I would like is to be separate from people who carry weapons, in case they feel the need to shoot. I am not afraid of weapons, I just realize they are dangerous, and I don't like seeing people get hurt.

I find it amazing that Americans tend to feel superior to people from other countries whose laws prohibit having weapons. Although, these countries do not have the kind of violence we experience. Some of these countries have been around a much longer time than we have. Do you think there is something they could tell us about our way of life?

People are wondering why some of our politicians don’t speak out about the use of weapons. It’s because they know that the people who favor guns and violence have enough money to get them out of office. They are probably waiting for the public to start seeking out.

The rifle companies like selling guns. Some members of the public like buying them. It’s America doing business at the same old stand.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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Daniel Harlan August 1, 2012 | 3:37 a.m.

How exactly are "assault weapons" a danger to everyone around them? Do they explode at random intervals or something? How would owning one make me a danger to everyone? Are they impossible to own without harming someone?

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