Alabama’s Mo Brooks (R-AL) is a man of principle and conviction. He’s also a man who knows why he believes what he believes and he’s not one to let a harrowing incident change his deeply held beliefs.
Case in point, Brooks was one of the GOP Congressman who was dodging bullets last week on a baseball field in Arlington, Virginia. Afterward, when asked if the attack had changed his mind about gun rights, Brooks gave a response that should be echoed in schools across America as we teach kids about our Constitution.
Watch after a reporter asks Brooks if he’s reconsidering his support for the 2nd Amendment:
Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any other constitutional provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those rights that we enjoy as people. And what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly.
But we’re not going to get rid of freedom of speech because some people say some really ugly things that hurt other people’s feelings. We’re not going to get rid of Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights because it allows some criminals to go free who should be behind bars. These rights are there to protect Americans, and while each of them has a negative aspect to them, they are fundamental to our being the greatest nation in world history.
So, no, I’m not changing my position on any of the rights we enjoy as Americans.
(The pertinent sections starts about 45 seconds into the video.)
What a brilliant answer.
This is the essence of the debate folks, Brooks hits the nail on the head. Every “right” that we enjoy has positive and negative effects, but the negative effects do not negate the importance of the “right.” Yes, the 2nd amendment means that we may sometimes be faced with gun wielding lawbreakers (even nations with no gun rights face these dangers from time to time). Yes, the 1st Amendment means was might sometimes hear things that we don’t like. Yes, the 4th Amendment means that sometimes criminals will go free. Yes, freedom is dangerous, but we accept the danger because we long to be free.
The truth is that safety is an illusion. You could live in a nation where there are no legal “rights,” but even there you will always live with the risk that others will do you harm (just ask inmates in a prison). In our system, the rights that make life more dangerous also give us the tools defend ourselves and our beliefs.
Three cheers for Mo Brooks and his solid defense of liberty.