policyshop.net — An emphatic belief in individual rights is one of the greatest strengths of America, and also its greatest flaw. In any rational society, my neighbor shouldn't be able to keep a small arsenal of high-powered automatic weapons sitting around the house. And certainly not if she is living with her disturbed son. That is a threat to public safety, as we learned horribly on Friday. But if it seems obvious to some of us, in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre, that individual rights have gone too far when it comes to guns, this reality is not yet a starting point for public policy. We'll hear a lot in coming weeks about assault rifles, background checks, waiting periods, magazine clip size, and so on. Yet to really win the argument for stronger gun control, we need to question the underlying belief that individual freedom is more important than the common good.
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