Letter: Everyone has rights; let’s respect them

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I began writing this letter last week about the NFL players exercising their First Amendment right to free speech, which says “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble….”  Apparently, because some people didn’t seem to like what the players were saying and doing, having that as a constitutional right did not seem that important.

Now, moving up to Sunday night when a madman used weapons to commit murder that either he purchased illegally or modified illegally from legal purchases, all I’ve heard is, “Let’s not politicize a tragedy.”  What that meant to me was, “Don’t start on gun control.”

And I’m not going to.  Exactly.

I grew up in an extended family where killing your first deer was a step into manhood.  After all, the Second Amendment says, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

I have to admit I don’t like where the Second Amendment has gone, just as some of you don’t like where the First Amendment has gone. I don’t like the fact that gun possession is so easy and that a lot of the wrong people have them.

Perhaps you don’t like it when good Americans question the integrity of our government, our president, or our justice system. It seems that we just want to pay attention to the rights that we like and that affect us. Fortunately, that is not America.

I’m not usually so nice about issues, but I am tired of neither side of any issue ever listening or thinking about others’ rights.  Maybe it’s time we try that.

— Susan Wright Beard