- El Reno Tribune Content
- late news
- School Superintendent Blog
- Video Story
To the Editor:
In response to Mr. Stock’s letter concerning the Second Amendment, while I respect that he expressed his opinion and gladly served in the military to protect his right to state it, I would politely disagree in the strongest manner possible. My family and I recently returned from Washington, D.C., over the Christmas holiday. We were privileged to see our nation’s founding documents in person. Mr. Stock’s suggestion the Second Amendment is to be read as establishing a “well regulated militia” instead of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” not being infringed, is naive at the least and misguided at best. The right to bear arms is for both provision and defense, to put food on the table and confront evil or tyranny.
The Bill of Rights was crafted (all 10 amendments) in order of importance and ratified together at the same time. Most constitutional scholars are in agreement the Bill of Rights were put in place to prevent the newly formed government from oppressing citizens and denying the freedoms and liberties on which the country was founded. The Second Amendment exists to protect the First Amendment. Freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom to assemble are protected by the right to bear arms, so an oppressive and tyrannical government can never coerce or deny the right of the people to participate in those activities.
While standing in the National Archives taking in the First Amendment, it finally occurred to me. Freedom of the press and speech, etc., are not guaranteed so we can deceive and lie without consequence; they are protected so we can tell the truth about an oppressive and/or unjust government or its leaders without fear of retaliation or reprisal. The Second Amendment backs up those rights and protects against their violation by being the deterrent it was intended to be.
We also visited Arlington National Cemetery during our trip and saw the grave of Audie Murphy and thousands of heroes, as well as the Tomb of the Unknowns, who paid the ultimate price, so that not only the Second Amendment, but all of them would apply to every one of us. It has only been some 70 years since the concentration camp crematoriums were billowing the smoke of a people who had lost their right to bear arms in Europe.
Technically, a “pistol” is a semi-automatic weapon, as are many shotguns and hunting rifles. Even a revolver is one shot for every trigger pull until all six rounds are spent. If you have ever seen the intro to “The Rifleman,” you know 12 rounds can be sent down range rather quickly even with a lever action 30-30. Many people today do not understand the difference between “fully” and “semi” automatic weapons.
Perhaps my biggest point of contention with the restrictive perspective is their knowing what the rest of us need to protect our families or property. What kind and how many bicycles, boats, pair of shoes or guns I have is not anyone’s business, and it is definitely not the government’s job to tell me what I need. Our founding fathers understood we have God-given rights and chief among them were life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As long as I am not a danger to myself or others, no one person or any government can decide how we choose to worship, express ourselves, protect our families and property, or pursue happiness.
The conversation I have yet to hear is the fact that everything Adam Lanza did in Connecticut was already against the law. Restricting the ability of good people will never stop bad people, it will just make us more vulnerable as a community on the whole. Until we are prepared as a community, a state and a nation to confront evil instead of just complain about it, it will never be abated. Mr. Stock, the Second Amendment applies to us all, as does the entire Constitution. I choose to remain under it.