Join Date: June 16, 2011
Here's my response. I sent to my local paper as well.
Why does anyone need an “Assault Weapon”?
All you have to do is look at history. Governments and religion have shown repeatedly that people will commit genocide and crush someone else's Rights that we are supposed to hold dear. The problem with American's is we live in a fairly peaceful society and haven't had a war here in a long time, thankfully. People have forgotten why the population is supposed to scare the government...because it keeps the government from killing us or trampling out our Rights. Anyone that wants to take firearms "because they are scary" has a tyrant mentality and those are the people that the 2nd Amendment is supposed to check, in the checks and balances. Stalin and the Socialists killed over 40 million of their own citizens that Stalin thought would give him trouble. While I'm alive, I will fight to not allow that to happen here. The 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting or sporting guns, it's about the citizenry being able to check the tyrannical power of the government. That's why we need guns and by the way, these AR-15's and AK semi-automatic clones are not actually assault rifles as that is a misnomer. New manufacture of assault rifles for civilians has been banned since National Firearms Act of 1986 was passed. To own a fully-automatic assault rifle as a civilian you have to jump through a tremendous number of hoops and background checks, not to mention they are incredibly expensive.
Now, you might ask/argue: I could arm myself to the teeth and I wouldn't be very effective against a government looking to trample me, right? The Second Amendment is about the maintenance of militias--people's armies who are well-armed, TRAINED, and ready to protect the people against a tyrannical government. So, to protect our Second Amendment rights, we should be joining the National Guard, not fighting to personally own guns, right?
The answer to this question is: The National Guard is a Federal entity. It was incorporated into the Federal Government on 21 January 1903 with the Militia Act of 1903 under Title 10 and Title 32 of the U.S. Code. If the country split, half of the military and police would be on one side and the other half would be on the other. Again, we have to understand the past in order to prevent/repeat it in the future. In the recent past even, we have an example of a civilized government acting tyrannically. Yugoslavia held the Olympics in 1988, and four short years later it was head long in a civil war that destroyed the country and killed a large segment of its population. Anyone remember the Bosnian War from 1992-1995? And yes, you can be armed to the teeth and be part of a movement that stops a tyrannical group of people that are hell bent on getting their own way. A dictator will not stand in this country because normal citizens can rise up, grouping together to stop it.
This is not about saving corporations, it's about saving a peaceful society that is based on a Republic model of government. In reality, we, the citizens of the USA live in a Constitutional Republic. The Constitution is supposed to protect the minority, not the majority. If a totalitarian despotic regime persuaded the majority to kill or jail certain groups of people like Hitler did, that could still be a Democracy. Currently, in Venezuela, where there is a Democracy, there is also Socialist Dictator that is in control of the media suppressing opposing views, asking for your ‘papers’ at check points along the roads, limiting movement and commerce among the people and using the military to control anyone that might oppose his views. The design of a constitutional republic is structured to protect the fundamental rights of the individual from the overreaction, popular whims or “mob rule” of a pure direct democracy. In our constitutional republic, the fundamental rights of speech, association, religion, freedom from imprisonment without due process and life are not subject to the whims of a popular vote or enactment of mere laws. Rather, they are enshrined in our Constitution and its amendments, which are better insulated from popular and political irrationality.
The worst part about all of these horrific shootings is the media and their seemingly endless cry to demonize gun owners. I am glad they have the First Amendment to stand behind and express their views, but there has to be balance as well. The weight of the specific, individual right to self-defense and to keep and bear arms should not be subjected to the media’s emotional cry for protection from a perceived, nondescript, unidentifiable, nonspecific threat. Such is the current cry of some for a new “assault weapons” ban. Stripping citizens of their fundamental rights requires more than an irrational fear of the name “AR-15,” or of a magazine capable of carrying 10, 15, 20 or 100 rounds of ammunition. I hope this issue calms down and people start thinking about how all of our fundamental rights protect us…
We have the right to DUE PROCESS (5th Amendment) to keep the government from taking your guns. You have the right to elect representatives that will work, lobby, and argue mine and your point of view, and to replace those representatives (or try to anyway) if they do not achieve your desired outcome. And, yes , the Constitution can be CHANGED. The Second Amendment can be INTERPRETED. That is the nature of our legislative process. It is not perfect and quite often damn infuriating, but I'll keep the one we’ve got over any other on the planet thank-you-very-much.
On January 19, 2013, the first-ever "Gun Appreciation Day," will be held around the country. If you believe in the right to bear arms, then turn out at gun stores, ranges and shows from coast to coast in a PEACEFUL effort to rally and support the 2nd Amendment and your rights. Show up with your Constitution, American flags and your signs to send a loud and clear message to members of the Virginia legislature, members of Congress, and the President.
I am glad that we have the First Amendment that allows me to express my view and we can have a civil discussion and you do not have to agree with me. I believe that the 5th Amendment protecting Due Process is one of the major reasons that we have had a pretty peaceful society and transitions of power for the past 150 years. I just hope you will heed my thoughts about history repeating itself and we wise up as a nation. I leave you with a pertinent quote from one of our Founding Fathers and fellow Virginian, Thomas Jefferson which was in a letter to William S. Smith (13 November 1787).
"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty....
..what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them." --Thomas Jefferson