When Philip Labonte, lead singer of ALL THAT REMAINS, wrote an Alternative Press op-ed piece (abbreviated from opposite the editorial page, a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper’s editorial board) on the right to bear arms, last week’s shooting in Colorado had not yet happened. The op-ed was set to run in an upcoming issue. However, in light of the horrific events, Labonte revised his column in order to address last week’s tragedy. His position hasn’t changed: He still believes Americans have a right to bear arms. Whenever there’s a shooting of this scale, the ongoing debate over gun control comes back into the national spotlight. But amid all the arguing and finger-pointing that always accompanies a topic this controversial, Labonte offers a thoughtful look at the Second Amendment and what he believes the words directly state.
Labonte writes, in part, “It is clear that people who would seek to outlaw all guns are a tiny minority, and the overwhelming population believes as the Supreme Court has decided, that individuals have a right to carry a firearm for self-defense. So the question remains: What, if any, arms should be outlawed or regulated? By the letter of the Second Amendment, the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Hughes Amendment to the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 all infringe upon an individual’s right to keep and bear arms by limiting or restricting what an individual can possess. The Second Amendment does not say ‘firearms’; it says ‘arms,’ meaning weapons of any kind. Requiring a tax stamp, fingerprints or paperwork to own anything under the National Firearms Act (short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, silencer) not only violates the Second Amendment, but it violates the Fourth Amendment’s Right to Privacy clause as well. I believe that anything the U.S. military or a contractor to the federal government can own, a private individual should also be able to own.
“It is clear that we live in a police state. The National Defense Authorization Act, the Patriot Act and the Transportation Security Administration all prove this. I know everyone will not agree with my opinions, but my facts are sound. The Second Amendment is a right that was given to us to prevent the federal government from becoming tyrannical. Proponents of gun control would do well to learn the history of gun control and the terrible tragedies that often follow the disarming of a population.”
Read Labonte‘s entire op-ed piece at AltPress.com.