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Letter: Second Amendment about rights, not hunting

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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: Barry Davis


Received: Dec. 19

My heart goes out to the families of those injured and killed at the Sandy Hook school. No parent can learn of those young lives taken so early without experiencing sadness and grief.

In the wake of tragedies such as the horrific murders that occurred this week, we frequently hear cries for further restricting or eliminating firearms ownership in this country. We often hear the claims that firearms incorrectly labeled as “assault weapons” have no legitimate sporting or hunting purpose.

Those claims fail to recognize (or, more likely are intended to confuse those less informed) the fact that the Second Amendment to our Constitution was enacted to recognize (not grant) the inalienable right to defense of self and country. There is no mention of hunting or sporting purposes as the reason for the adoption of the Second Amendment.

I believe from my research that the intent of the framers was to ensure that the people of this country always retained the ability to defend their liberties against criminal acts and a tyrannical government. In order to do this, the people must be able to arm themselves with the arms of the period, just as they did during the time of the framers.

If the people of this country had not had arms of the same type as the British, our revolution would not have succeeded. Do not take this to mean that you should be able to purchase a nuclear weapon; but if the state restricts your ownership to only a break-open shotgun, you have no chance against a tyrannical government armed with fully automatic weapons.

The firearms used in the commission of the crime are not the issue. Those firearms did not load themselves. They did not walk into that school and pull their own triggers. A person with the intent to commit evil did.

Ask yourself why these things are happening today. In the ’50s and ’60s, our youth went to school with their hunting and target shooting rifles and shotguns, and we did not have these types of events. The firearms being used are not significantly different in function from those available for the past 100 years or so.

Our culture has changed. Just last week, we read of an incident in which one young person was beating another, while others watched and apparently recorded the incident with their smartphones. Thankfully, only fists were used. I do not know what caused the fight, but it is seemingly another example of violent behavior encouraged or, at least accepted, by those watching it occur.

We are exposed to more acts of realistic violence on television, movies and video games. The Internet offers seemingly limitless opportunity to find all manner of information — good and bad — and our youth are well able to find it. I believe that our society’s increasing embrace of these strong visual and mental stimuli is desensitizing our youth to violence and may be the root of the real problem, an uncaring attitude and the willingness to do harm to others.

It is my understanding that at the Sandy Hook school, as well as most other schools in our country, firearms are not permitted on the property. The criminal forced his way into the school. It is reported that several of the administrators and teachers exhibited bravery in their attempts to confront the criminal and protect the children. These people should be honored for their efforts.

Our law enforcement professionals cannot be everywhere at once, therefore it is our individual responsibility to be prepared to defend ourselves and our families. How different might this tragic event at Sandy Hook have turned out if only one of those brave people had been armed with a firearm and trained in its responsible and safe use?

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