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Your Views: Second Amendment was meant for militias, not armed civilians
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The National Rifle Association falls back on the Second Amendment as justification for owning firearms. This is an anachronism that has persisted from the framing of the Constitution up through the present.

When the Constitution was written, the standing army was small and concerned mainly with providing protection from Native Americans and taking their lands. The Revolutionary War required that the colonists, along with their trusty muskets, were needed to win the war. Thus the need for a “militia being necessary to the security of a free state” as the reason for allowing people to keep and bear arms.

Today, our military is quite capable of providing security and weapons for our state without requiring weapons from the arsenals of our well-armed civilian population, which is increasingly threatening our security. Many so-called efforts to control firearms are either prevented by Washington politics (influenced by the NRA) or by such idiotic proposals as allowing guns in churches, bars and universities and arming undertrained teachers.

Guns in bars? The disagreements arising between inebriated customers, instead of resulting in bruises and black eyes and charges of assault and battery, etc., would increasingly result in corpses and murder charges.

The owning of rapid-fire assault rifles and 30-round clips designed for the sustained killing of people rather than an occasional deer or other game continues to be allowed when these weapons were banned for a while. Now, in light of the Newtown, Conn., massacre and other such atrocities nationwide, is the time when there should be a consensus, including conservative Republicans, to outlaw the possession and sale of these lethal weapons of destruction.

Background checks are a necessity and should be required for any weapons sales and just by licensed gun dealers. Gun shows should be monitored and closed if no provision is being made for checks.

While acknowledging that firearms such as sporting rifles and shotguns for hunting and, within reason, certain weapons for self-protection should be allowed, such rights were not addressed by the Second Amendment but rather a right to keep and bear arms for the security of the state.

Jim Scharnagel
Gainesville

 

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