- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
When I read the Rev. Rona Harding's letter, I was struck by the extreme ignorance of it. There was ignorance of the founding fathers, ignorance of recent history and ignorance of firearms.
First, let me clarify that the recent events that the reverend cited did not involve an automatic weapon. Furthermore, all of the weapons were legally obtained including all the usual background checks. These events were all tragedies, but there is no connection between the events and automatic weapons. This is why I believe the reverend is ignorant about firearms in general.
An automatic weapon will continuously fire bullets for as long as the trigger is pulled or until the gun runs out of bullets. Automatic weapons require very expensive permits and lots of paperwork to buy. The weapons themselves are very expensive, if you can find one. Semi-automatic weapons only fire one bullet for each trigger pull.
Now, let's discuss the founding fathers. Nobody can say for certain if they intended for the Second Amendment to apply to automatic (or even semi-automatic) weapons since they did not exist at the time. However, I believe the evidence exists that shows that they would support these weapons in the hands of private citizens. First of all, at the time, an organized military did not exist. As George Mason said, “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials.” The founding fathers wanted the citizens to be armed to protect the country from both foreign powers as well as an out-of-control U.S. government.
For another piece of evidence, look to the most powerful weapons of the time — cannons. Even today, I’m not sure which is more powerful, a Revolutionary War-era cannon or an automatic weapon. Yet at the time, cannons were privately owned. Even warships holding many cannons were privately owned. The Second Amendment doesn’t say, “the right to bear arms except for cannons” because they wanted the people to have these very powerful arms.
Finally, I’d like to address the reverend’s comment that “guns may not kill or cripple people, but bullets do.” The reality is that neither guns nor bullets are responsible for killing people. The people who murder are the ones responsible, since the time of Cain. Without guns, they will use knives, bows and arrows, bats, cars, wrenches, saws, their own hands, or any other item available. Murder is already illegal, yet people still murder. Creating additional laws won’t stop them.
Micah Reese, St. Inigoes