What I have to say will not be popular, and that really is the point. Expressing one’s opinion is a basic human right provided by our creator and spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. It cannot and should not be something decided by popular vote. In the 1960s if one had taken a popular vote about segregation in the South, it would easily have been upheld, and some would have argued that it was the will of the people. However, a majority of voters can’t take away the rights we have been granted. Our Founding Fathers realized this so they clearly delineated those things which were natural rights of the people. Elected officials often represent the will of their constituents, but it takes the courage of conviction to understand when it is necessary to oppose such popular sentiments.
John Kennedy wrote about such conviction. One example he provides is the case of Edmund G. Ross, who represented the one vote to save President Andrew Johnson from being removed from office in his impeachment trial. My point is that while I am a passionate supporter of democracy, there are times when what is popular is not what is right.
Which brings me to the point of this letter; all of our rights need to be protected and preserved. They are the natural order of the way things should be. One of these rights is spelled out in the Second Amendment to the Constitution. When attempts are made to limit our ability as citizens to protect ourselves we must remember that this right is as precious as all the others. In fact, some would agree that it is the most important because without the ability to defend ourselves all of our other rights are clearly in jeopardy.
BenningtonMORE IN Letters
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