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Gun writer fired from magazine for arguing sensible gun control

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Dick Metcalf is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. He is a very respected expert on firearms and an apt writer. Well, he is all of those things but he won't be doing it in a professional capacity anytime soon.

The reason why is that he was fired from Guns and Ammo magazine because of his position (that probably the vast majority of Americans would agree with) that since no rights are absolute, neither is the right to bear arms absolute.

For example, I do not have the right to issue death threats against anyone and to do so in this article would not only subject me to being removed as an examiner, but being investigated by law enforcement.

Freedom of religion obviously does not entail someone the right to engage in illegal acts in the name of one's religion.

So his position that regulation of firearms is reasonable (especially in light of violent felons who get guns through non-federally licensed dealers in many states) led to his ouster from Guns and Ammo magazine. The fact is, many in the gun lobby, and some though not all firearm owners, can't tolerate any degree of dissent.

Yes, people do have the right to defend themselves. Yes, like all other rights, the burden is on the government to show why a right should be regulated or limited, but once that burden is met (see the violent felons getting guns through non-federally licensed dealers) then regulation is necessary.

By the way, though this firing happened two months ago, I wasn't aware of it until the past week. Where were conservatives like Sarah Palin and others on the religious right-wing decrying Mr. Metcalf's free speech rights being violated, as they were with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, whose anti-homosexual comments are now legendary.

Of course, Mr. Metcalf did not have a right not to be fired, and neither did Phil Robertson. Neither did Chris Kluwe, former punter with the Minnesota Vikings, if he was released in part for his pro-gay rights views.

Though I agree with Metcalf and Kluwe on these various issues and abhor Robertson's statements (equating consensual sex among two men with molesting animals) I will take a consistent position. The First Amendment only protects Americans from action by the government against us, not companies or each other.

If Examiner releases me from being the Milwaukee Progressive Examiner, I will be disappointed. But it would be their right. I do not have the right to say things that embarrass who I write for, and keep my position.

By the way, if you want to support a group that does support freedom of speech, support the American Civil Liberties Union or for sensible gun control, the Brady Campaign. Thanks



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