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Letter: Important to defend 2nd Amendment rights


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From: John C. Gates

Columbus

Received: Feb. 11

Mr. William Scarbrough, in his Feb. 8 letter to The Republic, abuses his First Amendment rights to demonize those who defend their Second Amendment rights. His letter is full of hatred, misrepresentations and untruths.

Our Founding Fathers certainly meant for us to have arms to resist tyranny in government. Thomas Jefferson wrote to William S. Smith, Nov. 13, 1787, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. ... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

St. George Tucker, a colonel in the Revolutionary War, law professor and Virginia Supreme Court justice, perhaps said it best. “This (2nd Amendment) may be considered as the true palladium (safeguard) of liberty. The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible.

Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.” (Blackstone’s Commentaries, St. George Tucker, 1803, Vol. I)

What Mr. Scarbrough claims to be a restriction of powder and balls in 1792 was actually a requirement. He totally misrepresents The Militia Act of 1792, which was passed on May 2, 1792. This act provided for the assembly of an army if the U.S. was invaded or in imminent danger. I quote directly from the article, “That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than 24 cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder horn, 20 balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to practice or into service.”

If Mr. Scarbrough can somehow twist this into some kind of gun-control measure, how can anyone give credibility to his ranting damnation of the NRA. I have no desire to address Mr. Scarbrough’s slanderous remarks. It is obvious that he is more interested in destroying the NRA and the Second Amendment than he is in engaging in honest dialogue.

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