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Founders prioritized right to bear arms, not voting -- Richard S. Russell

Founders prioritized right to bear arms, not voting -- Richard S. Russell

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The State Journal's editorial on May 13, "More gun checks will save lives," asked, "Why is buying a gun from an unlicensed dealer easier than voting?"

It's a legitimate question, and it has a legitimate answer. It's because the people who founded this country made it a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They did not do the same for voting.

In fact, no right to vote is in the U.S. Constitution. If it were, we wouldn't have needed several constitutional amendments to extend the vote to previously disenfranchised groups of people.

Sure, no right is absolute. But the bar to limiting gun ownership is considerably higher than the bar to restricting voting, which is subject to 50 different sets of standards and preferences, since it's under state control. That wasn't an accident, that was by design.

Respect for the rule of law is also an important principle, which we dodge around at our peril.

Richard S. Russell, Madison

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