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Your Views: 2nd Amendment was meant for militias, who are armed civilians
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Jim Scharnagel is wrong about so many things (March 20 letter).

The Second Amendment was placed in the Constitution as protection from the standing army, not to support it. Having just fought a horrible war against an oppressive government and well-equipped army, the Founding Fathers wanted to make sure it never happened again. The Founding Fathers feared a standing army. The Second Amendment was meant to be a defense against it.

The militia? Federalist Tench Coxe said the militia is, in fact, the effective part of the people at-large. Richard Henry Lee said that the militia is, in fact, the people themselves. George Mason said that the militia consists of the whole people.

Guns in bars? Passing that law would just make a lot of us legal. What makes you think there are no guns in bars now? And yet the streets are not running red with blood.

How will banning law-abiding citizens from owning assault rifles and high-capacity magazines protect the population from evil people? Criminals, by their nature, will not obey the law. Duh! They will have an assault rifle if they want one. And they will do evil if that is their intention.

The Second Amendment gives us some protection from that evil. Thomas Paine noted, “arms ... discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.

On background checks: Information sharing between law enforcement agencies should be improved. Mental health records should be shared with those agencies. Punishment for gun trafficking, straw purchases and committing a crime with a gun should be mandatory. If someone commits a crime with a gun, jail time should be certain and significant.

Universal background checks are just another way for the government to control law-abiding citizens. It will do nothing to protect the population. Again, criminals will not submit to a background check. Sometimes a criminal is protected by the Fifth Amendment from incriminating himself when he answers questions on the current background check. What’s up with that?

And why would they go to a licensed dealer in the first place? They get it on the street, from another criminal, or steal one.

Finally, the Second Amendment is not, and has never been, about hunting and sport shooting. It is and has always been about defense.

Walter Sippel

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