Editor: A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The debate, as to whether citizens have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, has approached the level of being ridicules. The sentence above, read in its entirety is the object of the debate. Three weeks ago a letter writer had his letter printed in your newspaper and quoted the following sentence as “his authority” to “own any weapon of his choice;” the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The letter writer, like many others, has failed to consider the Second Amendment in its full content, preferring to only consider those words that suit his purpose. How often have we seen this practice recently, taking a statement or sentence out of context to support a political agenda? Either such an act is a fraud (the individual knows better but doesn’t care) or the individual making such a claim of authority is functionally illiterate.
In that same edition of your newspaper a second letter writer laid out five cogent reasons why the “right to bear arms by citizens” is obsolete; namely because our federal government now has a standing army and no longer needs to rely on armed citizens.
The first part of the Second Amendment sentence cited above establishes the rationale for creating the right extremists are clinging to today. Had the federal government, at the time, had a standing army the sentence we are all trying to interpret would very possibly have been written very differently. For example, if the founding fathers thought it necessary for citizens to be armed into perpetuity then the sentence would have read as a letter writer quoted – without the first part.
I have both friends and family members that own guns and are members of the NRA and to the person they have no objection to submitting to a background check to buy a weapon and support banning assault weapons. One family member, who is an avid hunter, responded as follows: what the hell are you going to do with an assault weapon – you can’t hunt with it? He went on to say he would like to go to a movie and not worry about being shot or have his grandkids go to school without being in harms way.
Come on people; this is a no brainer. Let’s act like responsible adults for a change. We need a background check to buy a weapon or ammunition and we need to ban ownership of assault weapons and large capacity clips.