We, too, are gun owners, but we don’t open carry, or flaunt it, or yammer about it endlessly. Gun ownership is not an end in itself; it’s part of what helps us to live a life of liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which are the rights that the Declaration of Independence says come from God. Guns are not something to be flaunted and paraded about, any more than you’d flaunt or parade about your wallet, or the ample supply of food in your freezer, or the gold bars you’re saving for retirement. These are things that you have a right to amass, and which may help you to live the kind of life you are supposed to be free to pursue. But to flaunt them without regard for the people around you, as if they were in themselves the highest good, shows a stunted understanding of what it means to live well.
Edited at 8:20 AM EST Feb. 5: Yes, I meant “Declaration of Independence,” not “Constitution.” Embarrassing! I do know the difference; it was just a careless error. I corrected it at the Register yesterday, but forgot to edit the teaser here. Thanks to everyone who pointed it out.