Printed letters, February 12, 2014

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Eileen O’Toole’s on-line letter (“Constitution’s raison d’etre was to take power from states”) and Gary Montgomery’s reaction (“Grant’s gun tirade ruined a good day”) to Bill Grant’s column remind readers that the on-going debate over “Gun Rights” and the meaning of the Second Amendment is eerily reminiscent of the 1850s’ Slavery debate. 

Indeed, the most strident proponents of absolutist Gun Rights have much in common – both ideologically and geographically—with the equally ardent defenders of Slavery.

Now, as then, extremists (e.g., Rush Limbaugh’s “ditto heads” and the NRA’s gullible lemmings) are not-so-subtly suggesting violence against those who disagree with them.

Now, as then (in its Dred Scott decision), our Supreme Court has perpetuated confusion as to what “the law is” and/or should be.

Hopefully, litigation instigated by Colorado’s County Sheriffs will eventually resolve that uncertainty.  Meanwhile, the text of the Second Amendment offers “food for thought”:

If the Second Amendment’s drafters had actually anticipated both the proliferation and lethality of modern personal weaponry, would they have used exactly the same language?

Because the premise that a “well regulated Militia [is] necessary to the security of a free State” necessarily implies the conclusion that “government” (whether State or federal) has some role to play in “regulating” the “right of the people to keep and bear Arms”, what is that role and when does its scope “infringe” on the peoples’ legitimate “right”?

Is there any rational basis for fearing that our “government” seeks to confiscate anyone’s “Arms” – except those of felons, the mentally deranged, or spouse abusers?

Would it ever by practically possible for any “government” to even attempt to confiscate 300,000,000 personal weapons – even if it encountered no resistance?

If a fully-armed population were deemed a “Militia”, how “well” could it be “regulated” without “impinging” on someone’s illegitimately self-proclaimed “right”?

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