LETTER: Other statements give clarity to gun debate
To the Editor:
Many letters to the editor seem stuck on the interpretation of the Second Amendment to no avail. Even the expert grammarian ends her expertise when she gives her opinion that “the right to bear arms references citizens of a militia rather than every Tom, Dick, Mary and Sally who chooses to pick up a gun.” Since legal writings don't always reflect the intent of the law, why go through all this trouble when we can just read statements of intent from the ones who crafted the Second Amendment? If you just read a few quotes listed, you can get a pretty good idea of what our forefathers' concerns were.
“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …” — Richard Henry Lee
“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed — unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust people with arms.” — James Madison
“To disarm the people — that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” — George Mason
“The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — Thomas Jefferson (unconfirmed)
Who cares what constitutes a militia. The underlying tone is that we the people have the right to protect ourselves from our own government. One thing our forefathers were aware of is that, while mankind has advanced technologically over the years, collectively as societies, we have not advanced at all. In the many thousands of years on earth, a society either enjoys freedom or does not, and this can vacillate within a society over the course of many generations.
Some readers might ask, “Well how could someone with a pistol or rifle protect themselves from the might of today's military?” My answer would be to read “Term Limits” by Vince Flynn. Albeit fiction, it is still a probable scenario on how a few highly trained men could hold the government accountable for its actions or inactions.
Having said this does not mean that I am against all aspects of gun control. I agree with Mr. Rotter that we need background checks on individuals at gun shows and I also think psychological profiling has to be a part of that check.