The Constitution is the cornerstone of our Republic. This amazing document captures the heart and soul of our Republic, one of the most innovative and progressive theories on government ever devised.

That theory is that “the People” grant governmental power to the Federal government. If not granted in the Constitution then that power remains with the various States within the union or (and this is important) to “the People.”

The 10th Amendment to our Constitution is the most important amendment, as it clarifies the distribution of governmental power within the United States of America. Legally most of the power to govern our daily lives is reserved to the States. We tend to forget this. Federal power is limited as laid out in our Constitution.

The Second Amendment is part of this cherished document. The right to bear arms is important and lawful. It is a proud American tradition protected by the Constitution. It is a “right” set in law not a governmental/statutory grant or privilege, such as a drivers license.

The rule of law is a cornerstone to our society and its well being. It delineates how we live our lives for the betterment of ourselves and society.

Conduct that is a possible harm to society or threatens our safety is governed by law, policy, and practice. Even the rights laid out in our Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments to our Constitution) can be limited if the right could be harmful to society.

A good example is someone shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. That is not protected speech under our First Amendment nor is hate speech or certain commercial speech. We even have exceptions to other Amendments, as well, to include our Fourth Amendment related to search and seizure, such as the right of a policeman to stop and frisk you to look for a weapon without a warrant.

With all this being said, it is important that we encourage responsible gun ownership to ensure public safety. Like any Amendment, protection of society is paramount. As one of our Founding Fathers declared the Constitution is not a suicide pack.

The “all or nothing” approach to our right to bear arms is not a helpful approach to solving a threat to our society. It is vital that we have meaningful dialog on how best to maintain responsible gun ownership and to agree on how best to regulate guns that challenge our safety and security. “All or nothing” is not that solution.

In my mind, the use of automatic/tactical weapons is a threat to the Second Amendment and those who honor it, as most responsible Americans do. The “all or nothing” lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, puts the right to bear arms in a very limited corner.

The use of tactical weapons strains the relationships of those who advocate for gun control and those who hold the right to bear arms too close to their hearts.There is space to agree and to protect the constitutional right to bear arms and controlling weapons designed to kill and destroy. We should not attack the Second Amendment but control the use of these horrific weapons.

The sanctuary phenomenon is also NOT good for the Second Amendment, as it puts responsibility and reasoned dialog into hands of the least responsible among us. The “all or nothing” crowd have taken over the argument and are more harm to our Second Amendment than any other faction of this important debate.

Sanctuary creates a wall around the gun issue and discourages safe and reasonable consideration on how best to protect the right to bear arms. Once again its “all or nothing” and society can’t protect itself from the scourge of automatic weapons.

Ignoring state or federal law and policy related to gun ownership in not American as America is based on the rule of law. Walling a county or city or town off from those laws limits that entity’s future and progress.

Sanctuary threatens society (and our county), the Second Amendment, and impedes ways to come up with reasonable solutions to the challenge of irresponsible use of guns, such as automatic weapons.

Let’s show that Haywood County defends the right to bear arms putting aside the “all or nothing” approach to the Second Amendment and encouraging a reasonable dialog among its citizens to protect our county from the unreasonable use of guns.

David Crane lives in Maggie Valley.

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