Today, guns seem almost as American as apple pie. In my adopted state of Vermont, for example, a place widely held to be on the liberal fringe, hunters still have the right to use firearms on privately owned land without the property owner’s permission. Homeowners who don’t want strangers shooting in their backyards must register at the Town Hall, at their own expense and inconvenience, and post fliers on their land at regular intervals specifying that firearms are not permitted. We’ve imbued the Second Amendment with such disproportionate magnitude compared to other judicial protections that in 1982, a respected Senator, Orrin Hatch, could proclaim, apparently without irony, that the right to bear arms is the right “most valued by free men.

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