Gun Control and the 2A Ltr to Editor - Please comment
Below is a letter I am sending to my local papers. There is a lot of knowledge and expertise on this forum, so would appreciate it if you would read and make suggestions on improving it. Thanks.
Gun Control and the 2d Amendment
There is going to be a great deal of discussion over the next few weeks about gun control and the right to keep and bear arms. I want to look at what the 2d Amendment means.
“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.” What do these words really mean? The militia at this time was all able-bodied males. It was comprised of two groups: the organized militia, who trained regularly and was the "quick reaction force"; and the unorganized militia - everyone else. “Regulated”, in this context, means “to make similar”, or “to keep to a standard”. Everywhere the Constitution talks about the “right of the People”, they are speaking about an individual right that belongs to all citizens.
When the Constitution was written, we had just gained our liberty from what we considered to be an oppressive government. It was, in fact, the local civilians who fired the “shot heard round the world” when they defended Lexington and Concord from a British force marching to confiscate firearms and ammunition the local militias were storing. So, the Founding Fathers believed that the citizen was the nations’ first line of defense. Mississippi still has a militia, divided into an organized militia (the National Guard) and unorganized (all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 years - Art 9, Sect 214).
If we re-write the 2d Amendment into modern English, I believe that it would read something like this: “An armed citizenry is necessary to defend a free nation from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Therefore, the citizens’ individual right to keep and bear weapons suitable for defending our freedom shall not be restricted”. It says nothing about hunting or personal defense, even though most infantry weapons are excellent choices for these purposes. They were concerned about the nation and keeping the freedoms they had bled and died for, to which they had pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
I am not advocating that every household maintain a full-auto M16 and I most definitely do not advocate an atomic bomb in every garage (yes, I've heard that). It takes training to effectively fire full-auto, and aimed fire is much more effective than “spray and pray”. As far as an atomic bomb, let’s be real.
When someone talks about “gun control”, however well-intentioned, they are actually talking about restricting your ability to defend your community. This is a civic responsibility that you bear because you are a citizen. We can delegate the authority to do so to the National Guard and police, but we can never delegate the responsibility. You, as an individual, can choose to not exercise your right to keep and bear arms, but no one has the authority to force it on you.
Re: Gun Control and the 2A Ltr to Editor - Please comment
Most LTEs are limited in word count.
Then, they can be further edited.