Letter: Second amendment not outdated
Second amendment not outdated
After reading Dale Brown’s letter to the editor on Saturday, I came to the conclusion that Mr. Brown was a great Ag teacher but doesn’t really understand history or logic.
Mr. Brown equates murder with gun ownership, stating that 11,000 murders occur annually, most committed with guns. This is misleading, to say the least.
The truth is that 11,000 people are murdered annually because 11,000 other people want to murder them; the availability of a gun doesn’t necessitate or facilitate those deaths. Over four million people in this country own guns, and nearly all of them never commit any crime at all. There is no connection between gun ownership and murder.
Criminals and mentally deranged persons don’t need guns to commit crimes, contrary to the implication stated by Mr. Brown. Albert DeSalvo strangled his victims and Richard Speck stabbed his. Many more people have been killed by infamous bombings than shooting sprees in schools and public places. Persons who wish to commit crimes of this nature will find a way to do so, regardless of gun availability.
Why do we have a second amendment? When our nation declared its independence, we took up arms against England without a standing army. When the Constitution was drafted and the Bill of Rights passed we would have bonded together once again if attacked, whether there had been a Second Amendment or not.
The reason for the Second Amendment was not to protect against foreign nations but against domestic tyranny. We existed as a loose confederation of states for many years prior to the election of a federal governing body and the drafting of the Constitution. States distrusted one another and wanted to be certain that we would never elect another tyrant who could take away their freedom. If each state had a militia, they could fight against other states who would annex them. This is one reason why the amendment is drafted this way.
The second reason for this amendment was to ensure that persons who owned homes, land and businesses could protect themselves from savages and thieves as well as hunt game to feed their families.
One can tell from the way this amendment was written that there was a great deal of debate, just as there is today. When reading the Bill of Rights, we can see that some amendments are written in a simple, straightforward manner while others are worded in a manner suggesting a great deal of deliberation, debate and compromise.
Some of our forefathers believed that everyone would be safe if no one owned a gun except magistrates. Others believed that highwaymen and thieves would find a way to procure arms and no one would be safe. Anyone who doubts this should read The Federalist Papers, The Jefferson Papers, and any number of articles written during that time period.
Mr. Brown also states that automatic weapons that are designed with the capacity for the mass destruction of human life should only be owned by the police and military. This is in fact the law of the land, but it didn’t stop a group of bank robbers in 1998.
These men, equipped with body armor and fully automaticAK-47s entered and robbed a bank in Los Angeles and attempted to escape on foot. Although police arrived shortly afterward, they were only equipped with pistols, shotguns, and small caliber carbines.
They were hopelessly outgunned and taking heavy casualties until some officers commandeered assault rifles from a nearby pawn shop, which they used to kill the robbers. The irony is that the persons who possessed automatic weapons did so illegally and those officers who could legally possess them weren’t equipped with them.
The debate during the last two decades has been over semi-automatic assault rifles. These rifles, along with handguns, have only one purpose, to take a human life.
Do they have a purpose in this country? Yes. During the Rodney King riots, the streets were full of thousands of looters who destroyed businesses, did millions of dollars in damage and even murdered bystanders, yet there was one section of businesses that was undamaged. These businesses were owned by Koreans who had the courage to stand on their roofs with assault rifles and hold the mobs at bay.
Millions in this country own handguns and assault rifles, yet most of us only use them to target shoot. At least we know that we have them in case we need them, though.
Why are so many opposed to any form of gun control? Look no further than the insurance industry. In 1982, legislation was passed requiring drivers to carry liability insurance. Most people felt it was a good law because it required drivers to be able to pay for damages to other vehicles when they were at fault in an accident, but it set a precedent. A few years later, a law was passed requiring all drivers to wear seat belts. Many felt that this law was wrong because it took a citizen’s choice away regarding his own safety, despite the fact that his decision not to wear a seat belt affected no one but himself. By lobbying to pass these laws, insurance companies ensured their own profitability and opened the doors for future beneficial legislation.
Thirty years later we have Obamacare. Citizens of this nation are forced to pay insurance companies whatever they ask because the law requires it. Our freedom was chipped away a little bit at a time because a law was passed that seemed like a good idea.
If citizens of this country allow one law to be passed regarding gun ownership we will be slaves in fifty years.