Hello from Canada! As the friendly northern neighbour (that's with a 'U') of America I often see lots of news about their goings on, and I wanted to get some American opinions on how arguments are handled regarding First Amendment and Second Amendment issues.
With the unfortunate news about the failure to pass even small legislation on gun reform I'm hearing a lot of the same arguments I've heard before. 'Things are fine without it', 'If we pass this law it won't be long until...' and other things like that. It reminded me of two years ago when the Supreme Court ruled that California couldn't block the sale of M rated games to minors. Similar slippery slope arguments were being made, and people felt that if the law passed then eventually no more M rated games would be made because developers wouldn't want the hassle (obviously a big simplification of the matter).
Now I know comparing guns and video games are two very different things, and the law banning M rated game sales was vague and not well put together, but I can't help but see some similarities in the two camps. On one side we have the responsible gun owners who don't want the government to step in and change their right to own as many firearms as they please infringed upon. On the other side are the proponents of free speech, who believe if the government gets involved in the creation or distribution of art then censorship will occur and people's messages will be diluted.
Again, I'm talking about tools that are designed to take lives, and simply being able to say or make a statement about something without fear of repercussions; the required legislation should definitely vary. Up here in Canada (in Ontario at least) it is against the law to sell M rated games to those who can't prove they are at least 17, and I don't know if we have the same fight for free speech. We also have stricter gun legislation and I don't think people miss out on having guns. But that's beside the point, I'm not here to say which country is better.
It seems to me that while there is going to be some overlap between the two camps, a lot of America is focused on either the First Amendment or the Second Amendment as the be all, end all piece of law. I hear similar fallacies on both sides, even though it seems on average they couldn't be more different. I guess what I'm asking is why do so many arguments boil down to issues stemming from those two Amendments, and could both sides get to a point where they understand each other a little better based on how they feel about their respective favourite Amendment? Gun ownership probably feels like a free speech issue to a lot of people I would guess.
(side note: I am aware that much of my exposure to these arguments come from politicians arguments or internet comments, and there are going to be level headed people on both sides who don't use the fallacies I've mentioned above when debating this things.)