The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights is under fire again.

The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, was ratified in 1791 which was 227 years ago.

Some argue that the Second Amendment protects only the collective right of the states to maintain militias, and not an individual’s right to own guns.

It reads: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Gun control proponents also argue that when the Second Amendment was written, there were no semi-automatic weapons with a 30-shell magazine.

A 1791 firearm was a musket that contained one round which could be fired maybe three times a minute.

“Native American tribes were known to attack settlements (and vice versa), and since there was no police force or army, there were times when the law needed to be taken into the hands of the citizens. There were also no grocery stores – the colonists would have needed guns to hunt and feed themselves,” one person argued. “Oh, and white people owned slaves, and they really didn’t want to have an uprising they couldn’t defeat. The right to bear arms covered protecting that, too.”

However many still argue, especially in Kansas, that indeed the Second Amendment not only guarantees the right of persons to bear arms, it also allows them in public places.

To quote U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”

In reporting on a story I wrote over the question to allow guns in a government building or to secure the building instead, three out of the seven people at the table to make the decision had been involved in a shooting.

Thus the “it won’t happen in Kansas” can be thrown out the window.

Salina County Commissioner Monte Shadwick was a teacher at Goddard Junior High in 1985 and was present when the principal was killed.

Our state Sen. Randall Hardy was in the U.S. Capitol in 1998 when two Capitol security guards were killed in a shootout.

Lynda Johnson, a Saline County employee, was attending Washington High School in Kansas City and saw a gunman shoot a teacher.

Yet, the Salina City- Saline County Building Authority did the opposite of the Dickinson County Commission and elected to allow the conceal carry of handguns on the first two floors of the building, securing only the third floor which houses the courts.

Dickinson County elected to secure the building from all weapons, including pepper spray, as the sign on the door reads.

Despite the protests of teenagers after 10 people were killed at Sante Fe High School and 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School so far this year, there has been no discussion of gun control by our lawmakers because of the Second Amendment.

I get it! It is part of our Constitution.

What I don’t get is why there isn’t an equal enforcement of the First Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

How is telling National Football League players that they are not allowed to peacefully call attention to police brutality and racial inequality in the United States by kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem not a violation of the First Amendment?

According to a Sports Illustrated article, the movement was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 preseason. Kaepernick initially sat during the anthem when he first started the protest, but switched to kneeling after speaking with former Army Green Beret and NFL long snapper Nate Boyer. Boyer wrote an open letter to Kaepernick after learning of his protest, and the two agreed that kneeling would be a way to present Kaepernick’s message without disrespecting the armed forces or the flag.

Do I think they should kneel? No!

Can they kneel?

The First Amendment guarantees it just like the Second Amendment guarantees my right to own and carry a concealed handgun.

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