Letter to the Editor: Gun control not the answer
What happened in Connecticut was evil, horrible, and monstrous but blaming firearm ownership, high capacity magazines, or assault weapons for the tragedy makes as much sense as blaming a fork or food for obesity. It is true that, if there were no firearms these children (and adults) would not have been shot but would it have made any real difference if this evil malignancy disguised as a human being used a baseball bat to bludgeon his victims to death? Would we now be calling for a new, national "debate" on anti-baseball bat legislation as the liberal-left, anti-gun advocates, progressives, and anti-constitutionalists are calling for over gun control? Before you answer, let's getting something straight, there will be no "discussions" nor "debates". When these groups cynically use these terms what they are actually saying is that they are going to put on a public theater to placate the unthinking masses but the bottom line is that they are going to erode or take away yet another of your constitutional rights. If the American people allow this farce to be played out according to their script then this generation will have presided over the demise of the American Republic and the constitution.
Just as the first amendment is the voice and soul of the Constitution it is the second amendment that is its teeth. The framers of the constitution and the architects of our federalist system had a deep and abiding distrust of central national governments, even to that central national government that they had so carefully crafted as to avoid the pitfalls common to all previous forms of government. It was their intent to provide the people eternally and irrevocably with an uninfringeable last resort to resist any despotic attempts to destroy the Republic and nullify the Constitution. Did the founding architects mean without limits when they penned "shall not be infringed."? I don't know, but I believe that when they penned "the right of the people to keep and bear arms," they didn't contemplate individuals owning personal cannons but were referencing personal small arms of the highest technology contemporary with the "people" as is testified by a roughly contemporary, and second amendment supporting document, the Militia Acts of 1792. The Acts required ". . . That every citizen . . . . provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than 24 cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of power and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, 20 balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder"; the "rifle" was the assault weapon of the 18th century. If and when we actually discuss the second amendment, and contemplated limitation on it, that discussion must be framed within the context of these facts and the history of events leading up to the ratification of the second amendment and the adoption of the Acts devoid of transient emotions of the present moment.
Should the people be permitted to possess nuclear weapons, tanks, or rocket launchers today? In my opinion, "No!" but beyond those logical and credible limitations I don't think that the people should be denied the most technically advanced small arms available to them as were indicated in the Acts of 1792. In the words of President Obama "We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.". I would give you that "civilian national security force" is today, as it has been for more than the 237 years of this nation's existence, the people themselves; well armed and well schooled in the use of arms with the moral strength to discern when the resort of arms is necessary.
In my view the problem today is not with the "proliferation" of firearms among the people, nor the types of firearms, nor with the capacity of magazines for those arms but is with the loss of this nation's moral compass as a result of a drastic shift to the liberal left, the abandonment of personal responsibility, and the adoption of a state religion of secularism which expelled God from the national conscience. During the coverage of the Connecticut tragedy I heard one "talking head" ask "How can a loving God allow something like this?". What a ridiculous statement. "You've banned God from our schools, from our courts, from our seats of government and confounded morality in our daily lives and yet you seek to blame God for such a tragedy" If God deemed to answer I think He would probably say "I would have helped but I wasn't allowed in your schools.". If we are to have a serious "debate" on the causes of tragedies like the one in Connecticut this is where the debate must begin with a discussion of the loss of traditional American values not with the kind of firearm used nor the capacity of a magazine.
If however the "debate" is forced to the left then we need to look to King Leonidas of ancient Sparta. When King Leonidas and the 500 Spartans were confronted by the demands of an overwhelming force of Persians to surrender their weapons at the battle of Thermopylae, and when surrender would have been the easy course, they responded "Molon Labe". . . "Come and take them". Perhaps in this "debate" over the fate of our second amendment rights we too should adopt this motto as our response, Molon Labe . . . "Come and take them!" not as a challenge but as a counterpoint to "Surrender your rights".