Joe Sweeney: New Hampshire Republicans are fighting for the Second Amendment

For the Monitor
Published: 4/22/2018 12:10:03 AM

There is a stark difference between New Hampshire Democrats and New Hampshire Republicans on the issue of the Second Amendment.

New Hampshire Democrats are eager to erode citizens’ gun rights. One Democrat, state Rep. Katherine Rogers, recently said the state should have a conversation about the full repeal of the Second Amendment. New Hampshire Republicans are happy to engage in such a discussion. Our position is clear: The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand proposed in February a ban on all semi-automatic weapons. This would result in the state confiscating legally owned firearms from law-abiding citizens. He calls this measure “common sense.” It wasn’t so commonsensical just two years ago when he ran for governor the first time and mentioned nothing at all about gun control. The truth is, it’s not common sense at all. It’s radical.

The Second Amendment doesn’t exist to hunt ducks, as out-of-touch liberals seem to believe. It was enshrined in our Bill of Rights by our Founders in order to protect the God-given right to self-defense. The Second Amendment is the spine of the Bill of Rights – without it, our rights to free speech, assembly, religion and so many others would be jeopardized.

For this reason, New Hampshire Republicans have defended and strengthened the Second Amendment in New Hampshire.

In February 2017, Republicans passed and Gov. Chris Sununu signed constitutional carry, repealing the requirement to have a permit to carry in the State of New Hampshire. In fact, that was the first bill our popular governor signed into law.

In March 2018, New Hampshire House Republicans voted down a parliamentary maneuver by Democratic lawmakers hoping to suspend House rules and introduce legislation to ban bump stocks, raise the age of purchase to 21 and curb gun rights in various other ways. When the left launched its gun-control initiative, Republicans in New Hampshire held the line. And contrary to some rumors, there will be no so-called “Red Flag” legislation as long as Republicans have a say in Concord.

The New Hampshire Republican Party has launched to organize Second Amendment supporters in New Hampshire and will be hosting Second Amendment-specific candidate training sessions throughout the spring and summer for New Hampshire GOP candidates and activists. We’re doing this because we believe in it, yes. But we’re also doing it because the Constitution deserves defending.

The emotions following the evil and tragic events of Parkland, Fla., are real and still very raw. We need to understand the role mental health plays in gun violence. And there are some fundamental questions society needs to ask. In our rapidly changing world, too many people live behind a screen and within a world filled with hate around them. Can this lifestyle dehumanize people and turn too many young men into monsters that take out their aggressions in schools, movie theaters and shopping malls?

However, the answer to curbing gun violence in our nation is not to curb the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.

(Joe Sweeney is chairman of the New Hampshire Young Republicans.)

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