Thankful for founders’ insight
To the editor:
A recent letter examining the Second Amendment of the Constitution in light of a militia or “Home Guard” as the writer termed it, was interesting, to say the least. It’s possible that the letter was written tongue-in-cheek, but I seriously doubt that, and since some might think the idea a plausible one, it begs a response.
At the time of the American Revolution, single shot muzzle loading black powder rifles or pistols were the common armaments for all modern armies in the world, and were the same weapons found in virtually every home and farm in the country. The Second Amendment does not restrict the type of weapon a citizen may possess, and while I agree that the founders could not have envisioned drones or ballistic missiles, it’s clear to me they intended for us to be able to arm ourselves at or close to the same level of any army or government that would attempt to abuse our rights.
Colonial farmers and those living away from population centers also had a real need for self defense from animals, outlaws and natives. Given today’s culture of drug and gang wars, I’m not sure we are any safer than were the colonists, but certainly their concern for personal safety was another reason to have a gun close at hand.
Which brings me to the writer’s armory proposal. When British troops were fired upon at Lexington and Concord, they were on their way to confiscate stores of powder and shot from a cache in Boston. Luckily, the Minutemen had their own arms and ammunition or the Revolution might have ended before it began. Since firearms are completely useless unless both they and their ammunition are close at hand, the armory idea, especially for personal self defense, is laughable. Additionally, an abusive government would find centralized stores of arms much easier to seize than arms held in individual households.
When the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights, it wasn’t an accident or an afterthought, or a unique product of 18th century thinking. The Founders knew exactly what they were doing, and we should all be very thankful for their insight and genius.