Letters to the editor - Tuesday (2-19-2013)

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:16 a.m.

David Post’s Sunday column (“2nd Amendment isn’t invitation to rebellion”) drew a fusillade of responses.

Citizens have right to oppose tyranny


David Post shines like the evening sun going down over stagnant water. His wisdom knows no bounds. I was amazed to learn from him that the last 14 words of the Second Amendment kill tens of thousands of people every year. How terrible! If only we didn’t have guns we would be a crime-free society — like all other gun free nations.

Liberals obviously have a lack of what normal humans consider a healthful amount of self preservation.

Who are the simpletons that would argue that the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to rise up and declare war against a “bad” government? No one in their right mind would argue that. But never for one moment underestimate the will of an armed population when the government it has created usurps the power given to it by those people. Rest assured, the Second Amendment was intended to empower citizens to protect themselves from a “bad” government. Of course, liberals can’t comprehend a “bad” government. They never met a king, a dictator or tyrant they didn’t love. And don’t throw in that garbage about Hitler being a right-wing dictator. Hitler was a Socialist tyrant. It would be impossible for a tyrant to be right-wing. Right-wingers believe in individual freedom, not Socialist tyranny.

David, did you ever read, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed — that whenever any form of government (that would include the one we have now) becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government … But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is the Right, it is their Duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security …”

So encourage all your liberal friends to keep blabbering against the right of self-preservation. You are helping to bring on the next revolution. You may have also noticed the drastic increase in private gun and ammunition sales — mostly assault weapons with high-capacity magazines. Your imperial president and his faithful liberal followers have armed more people than your comprehension can allow. Keep up your good work!

— Steve Poteat

Salisbury

The Supreme Court has spoken clearly

Many of those debating gun control don’t give due regard to the law of the land. The U.S. Supreme Court in D.C vs. Heller (2007 — www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf) gives an exhaustive historical and political review of the English and American legal and historical precedents regarding the Second Amendment. It cannot be surpassed by any neutral, pro or con writing that I have ever read.

In Heller, the court held that the District’s handgun ban in the home was unconstitutional in that it “violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.” It also settled an issue left over from older decisions in that the right to keep and bear arms “… in no way connotes participation in a structured military organization.”

Putting these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.

Interestingly enough, in dicta, the court talks about the fully automatic version of the Bushmaster AR-15, the M-16 as well. “It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause.” “But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty.” “It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large.” “Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks.” “But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.” Fully automatic M-16s are not banned; a few private citizens, federally licensed, heavily taxed, and placed under intense scrutiny may and do own such weapons.

My opinion is that the Second Amendment prohibits laws and regulations banning firearms “operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense” and that semi-automatic rifles and pistols including those that accept high capacity magazines fall fully within that category. While Keller specifically concerned a ban on handguns in the home, the Court’s reasoning and logic would equally apply to such weapons. Don’t believe me. Read the opinion and make up your own mind.

— Todd Paris

Salisbury

Consider these words about 2nd Amendment

The truth about the Second Amendment should come from those who wrote it instead of liberals, like David Post, who do not seem to know that automatic weapons (machine guns) have been heavily taxed and regulated since 1934.

• “And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; …” — Samuel Adams

• “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” — George Washington

• “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” —Richard Henry Lee

• “The constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; … ” —Thomas Jefferson

• “This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!” — Adolph Hitler

In 1982 the U.S. Senate prepared a report on the original intent of the Second Amendment. It is titled, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” It is available online, if you want the truth.

— Joe D. Teeter

Gold Hill

Editor’s note: While variations of the Washington quote are widely cited, its authenticity has never been verified.

Take a closer look at first part of amendment

David Post was completely off-base. He says that we conservatives ignore the first half of the Second Amendment: “A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state…” Actually, it’s Post who ignores it, as I’ll explain.

But then Post says we use the Second Amendment to justify some future attack against a “bad” federal government. I believe we already have a “bad” government, but our only “weapon” is the printed word. Unfortunately, Post seems to have confused militia with military; state with federal; and defense with offense.

The Constitution is only four pages long; so to explain it, the Founders wrote “The Federalist Papers.” You can read them in the book “The Federalist” to better understand the Constitution’s original intent.

For example, Federalist #28 describes the militia, the military, and their difference. It warns: “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government…”

But “that original right of self-defense” somehow became “the right to overthrow (the government) violently” in Post’s column.

From Federalist #29: “… if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.”

The Second Amendment was added to re-affirm these rights of self-defense; nothing more.

Post claims that, even if they’d been armed, Jews couldn’t have beaten back the Nazis. In other words, they didn’t deserve the right to try. Instead, they were tortured for years and then violently murdered. Today, we’re told that millions upon millions of Jewish people, properly armed from the very beginning, couldn’t have made a difference. Baloney!

To conservatives, the Constitution is timeless; not a “living, breathing document” to be interpreted at will. But Post suggests that we’re hypocrites for discussing high-capacity magazines instead of musket balls. If that’s the case, are we limited to horse and buggies when discussing interstate commerce?

— Steve Pender

Rockwell

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