Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
E-mail this article
Print this Article

I felt compelled to pass along my thoughts to Charles County’s delegates in Annapolis regarding recent legislative attempts to limit my Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. As they are my representatives, they must at least consider my opinion when rendering any decisions on the floor.

I have heard many celebrities and politicians lately proclaiming that no one needs an assault rifle. While I take issue with the use of the term “assault rifle,” I will save that for another argument. The real concern is that I don’t believe that anyone has the right to decide for me what I do or don’t need.

In the strictest sense of the Constitution, I should be allowed to purchase any weaponry that the government possesses as a means of defending myself against that very government. This was the true intent of a citizen’s right to bear arms.

The Second Amendment does not exist for hunters, sportsmen or law enforcement personnel. It exists to prevent the rise of a tyrannical government against its own people. Even if you choose not to adhere to the Constitution, a simple examination of facts in evidence should compel you to realize that the proposed state gun-control measures, and those being discussed nationally, will not prevent gun crime.

Statistics indicate that gun violence in Washington, D.C., and in the city of Chicago is exceptionally high, despite some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The “assault weapons” ban from 1994 to 2004 had zero impact on mass shootings. In 2011, there were 12,664 murders in the United States (a number in decline for more than a decade). Of those, 323 were committed with rifles. Of those 323, the percentage of “assault rifles” used was so small that it wasn’t even tracked by law enforcement.

Contrarily, 496 murders were committed with blunt objects and 728 were committed with hands and/or feet.

Based on these statistics from the FBI, can you explain to me why “assault rifles” were selected to ban?

I understand that every good and decent citizen of this country would love to prevent another Newtown shooting, but the simple truth is that we can’t. In a free and open society, no law, regardless of how restrictive, can prevent an evildoer from committing a heinous crime.

I support greater access to mental health treatment for anyone requiring that kind of assistance, but here again we have become such a litigious, tolerant and accepting society that pointing out someone who may have a mental health problem before they suffer a break would most likely be met with an inability to respond, at best, or even a potential lawsuit.

Trying to create a solution for a social condition for which there is no solution is counterproductive. Trying to prevent gun crime by limiting the gun ownership of law-abiding citizens is like trying to prevent drunk-driving accidents by preventing nondrinkers from buying cars.

David R. Bird Jr., La Plata