One of the frequent arguments of the pro-gun lobby — the group that feels that God gave them the right to own any kind of weapon they care to own, regardless of the consequences — is that no law concerning weapons should “burden law-abiding citizens.” The argument might sound good on first hearing, but even the slightest thought should lead one to conclude that it’s ridiculous.
All rights must be subject to reasonable limitations and must always be balanced against the rights of others if we are to live in a just and fair society. The right to free speech has limitations; one cannot slander another individual without incurring the risk of liability, a “burden” that our common law places on “law-abiding citizens.” The right to freedom of religion has its limitations; one cannot enslave another human being on the theory — even if sincerely held — that the Bible condones slavery. Our laws against slavery — the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution and parts of our penal code, e.g., 18 USC 1584 — constitute a “burden.”
Children have a right to live, and any right to “bear arms” must be reasonably restrained by every child’s right to live. It’s a shame that reasonable restraints are deemed a “burden” to the gun manufacturers, sellers, and owners, who cannot even tolerate universal background checks. It’s a national tragedy that our elected representatives may be so gutless as to accept the NRA argument that seeks to avoid any “burden on law-abiding citizens” whatsoever, regardless of reason, regardless of good conscience, regardless of a child’s right to live.