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Letter: Rights to defend reason for debate


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Charles Eckert

Columbus

Received: Jan. 15

Kudos to Mr. Bill Lazzell.

His excellent letter (Jan. 14) spoke with precise, direct-to-the-point clarity:

“... The Second Amendment ... was not intended to refer to the military, it was so the citizens of this once great country would be able to defend themselves against a tyrannical government which no longer represented the will of the American people — having its citizens armed was the plain and simple intent of the Founding Fathers of our country ...”

The classical America/Jeffersonian view declares that the rights of the individual are not “granted,” bestowed, awarded, nor ever (in any way, shape or form) some gift of government.

Rather, our rights exist a priori, prior to government. That, as the Declaration of Independence states: “... To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men ...”

The very concept of an armed citizenry existing in our so-called “modern world” strikes fear into the faint or heart, whether government officials or any other potential civil or criminal tyrants.

Good.

That’s precisely the point.

The cold, hard, unemotional reality is that we all live in the same world the police do. It’s not as though we leave our homes daily and all we need for the safety of ourselves and our loved ones is to stay on the “good” side of cities or away from the “wrong” streets. (The Empire State Building stands in a tough neighborhood?)

Not only do we live in the same reality as police, we live in the same town. The Republic newspaper archive provides numerous examples: “Undercover drug probe nets 11 arrests,” “Massage parlor prostitution ring,” “Man shot dead outside bar,” — to cite but few.

Behind our extraordinary architectural facades resides a stark matrix many of us choose to ignore, at our peril. Organized or freelance, there are indeed those among us a well-documented, self-selecting, culturally diverse criminal class, who care not one whit about others’ lives, loved ones, or property, much less our personal feelings.

“Thugs on drugs” or “Claws with a cause”

It makes no difference to victims.

Who’s your Santa Claus, Virginia?

When rousted from sleep by some unknown noise-in-the-dark, a window breaking after midnight?

When “who-knows-what” can happen in seconds (try counting seconds to experience how long they take), yet well-meaning law enforcement remains minutes away?

When you’re alone in a sparse parking lot and the skin on your arms goosebumps, and there’s that lump-in-the-gut fear everyone’s known ...

What then?

Besides soil our shorts.

History is unequivocal on this point, as the recent tragedy at Newtown, Conn., should remind us all.

Helplessness is not safety.

Life presents choice.

Some choose to be helpless; others have helplessness thrust upon them.

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