Semi-automatic weapons unjustified
To the editor:
“The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting. It’s about defending ourselves against governmental tyranny.”
Thus read a placard at a recent pro-gun rally. For many who invoke the second amendment, this is the implication. The black, socialist, Muslim, foreign-born president with the funny name is going to take away all our guns like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao did so he can impose a tyrannical dictatorship. There was no massacre at Sandy Hook. The government staged the event as a pretense to enact stricter gun laws. Such are the paranoid fantasies entertained by an alarmingly large percentage of those who consider themselves psychologically qualified for unfettered gun ownership.
In the media, the second amendment is usually truncated as “the right to bear arms.” The entire amendment reads: “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.” In other words, our fledgling nation, with no professional military, needed its citizenry to be able to mobilize quickly to repel another British invasion, Indian uprising, slave rebellion, etc.
Today, the second amendment is an anachronism. Its purpose is fulfilled by the U.S. Armed Forces. They are well-regulated. Those who regard the official military and police as their probable opponents in a popular uprising against “tyranny” insist on remaining totally unregulated. Although they would be hopelessly outgunned, they fantasize that their military-style weapons would enable them to conduct an effective guerrilla war. Dudes, this isn’t Syria. If you want to be heroic freedom fighters, go there, where you’ll stand a fighting chance and may actually do some good.
Here’s Ronald Reagan on the issue: “I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for the defense of a home.” - Feb 6, 1989
There is no constitutional, domestic, or sports-related justification for the semi-automatics and high-capacity magazines involved in recent mass shootings. The Founding Fathers did not foresee and would not have condoned them. No hunter would use them. As we have seen all too often, their only function is to kill lots of people easily and quickly. And that’s what those who so stridently defend their “right” to own them have in mind.