Own up on guns

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

We live in a democracy that depends in no small part on the glue of the U.S. Constitution to hold it together. Regardless of your position on the Second Amendment and gun control, we need to respect the legal rights of the people as determined by Congress and the Supreme Court.

Gun ownership is legal for almost everyone. I do not agree with that interpretation of the Second Amendment, but I respect that right as much as I respect the right to free speech.

What I don't respect is the lack of responsibility that gun advocates have for the gun culture they have created. As a First Amendment advocate, I acknowledge that neo-Nazi parades and the Westboro Baptist Church are part of the price we all pay for the zealously guarded right to free speech.

Similarly, gun-ownership advocates need to acknowledge that occasional mass killings are part of the price we pay for that zealously guarded right. Instead, they blame bad guys, movies, video games and even mental illness — everything but the gun culture.

Their answer to Sandy Hook Elementary: more gun culture. Gun advocates: Own up — this is the culture you wanted.

Mark Smith

South Jordan