To those that say the Second Amendment is absolute, I would say that even Antonin Scalia disagrees with them.  He has never argued that violent ex-felons should be allowed to possess firearms.  He has never indicated that one should be able to purchase nuclear weapons so long as they can be delivered with a handheld firearm.  For those that do believe in an absolute right, this would be the logical, if uncomfortable, conclusion to their arguments.

As Gawker’s Adam Weinstein explains about the conservative fetish for certain rights:

Likewise for gun rights, where conservatives led by lobbyists andluddites like Joe the Plumber have abandoned talk about the good and replaced it with talk about the right. The good can be negotiated as hard cases arise. The right is non-negotiable. It is immutable. It is either respected or infringed. If you believe, as Joe and the NRA do, that the Second Amendment is an absolute right to personal firearms ownership—not merely that it’s good for something, like self-defense or recreation, but that it’s an immutable right—then even background checks or limits on multiple-magazine purchases or just simply talking about compromise and offering real sympathy to survivors is an infringement on that right.

In this ideology, talk of social responsibility in the exercise of rights becomes synonymous with socialism. This is the ultimate problem with the modern movement that clubbed traditional conservatism to death, squeezed into its clothes, and now traipses around like it owns the place.

No right is absolute.  One cannot scream fire in a crowded theater.  Gun ownership may be regulated.  Soldiers may be quartered in houses during time of war.  The writ of habeas corpus may be suspended in times of invasion and rebellion.  One may not practice aspects of their religion that cause direct harm to others (for example if one’s religion calls for the killing of other human beings, then their right to completely and freely exercise their religion is limited by homicidestatutes).

Those that argue for an absolute right to gun ownership share in the responsibility for firearm-related homicides in this country.  They do not pull the trigger; ultimate responsibility still lies with the actual perpetrator.  But they have the responsibility of facilitation; they make it easier for the perpetrator to kill more and to do so with greater ease.

We need sensible gun regulations.  I do not favor coming for all the guns, but I do favor licensure and registration.  Those are sensible measures that protect the rights of law-abiding citizens, both those that want their firearms and those that wish to maintain their unalienable right to life.