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Letter: Are 1st, 2nd amendments at odds?

United States’ founders placed the First Amendment to the Constitution prominently in the lead as a way to prevent Second Amendment rights dominating.

Letter to the Editor graphic

Fiery speech from the throat of a gun appears to have become a new interpretation of First Amendment free speech in the United States.

Shakespeare once wrote that the pen is mightier than the sword, but in today’s world we seem to endorse a shredding of the First Amendment by Shakespeare’s blade. Perhaps United States’ founders placed the First Amendment to the Constitution prominently in the lead as a way to prevent Second Amendment rights dominating, as in: shoot first and ask questions later.

Biblically, he who lives by the sword will (or could) die by the sword aptly portrays the Rittenhouse situation where a teenager created unnecessary risk and harm by carrying and using an assault style rifle that resulted in the killing of two persons and the maiming of a third person.

Rittenhouse’s Second Amendment rights appear to violate the First Amendment rights of public protestors, despite both sides carrying weapons. Maybe our challenge is to increase efforts to better define the First and Second Amendments and their relationship to each other, versus pitting one against the other.

Patrick J. Dean, Rochester

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