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Commentary: The argument for gun control is myopic and shallow

Protesters demonstrate in the Not One More rally for gun legislation, held at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 17, 2018. Since Wednesday, when a gunman killed 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., teenage voices have resonated where those of longtime politicians have largely fallen flat. (Saul Martinez/Copyright 2018 The New York Times)

Over the weekend the Fargo Forum published an editorial calling for the reinstatement of an assault weapons ban that was as shallow as it was myopic.

“There is no legitimate civilian use for guns like the AR-15,” the paper writes.

There are millions upon millions of Americans who own AR-15 rifles, and equivalent firearms, who might disagree with that statement.

Regardless, someone should inform the folks on the Forum’s editorial board that rights don’t work that way. You don’t need to justify keeping and bearing an AR-15 any more than you need to justify the content of your free speech. I suspect the journalists at the Forum would be apoplectic over the suggestion that they justify the type of speech they choose to publish before they are legally allowed to publish it, and they’d be right to be.

Yet why do we not afford gun rights the same level of respect? Keeping and bearing arms, much like speech, is a civil right.

“We should revive the assault rifle ban. It is not a cure-all, but it is a start,” the paper continues.

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