I’VE HAD IT WITH THE SECOND AMENDMENT

Well, let’s just say, I’ve had it with the Second Amendment being used as an excuse to do absolutely nothing about the carnage we are all beginning to accept as normal here in the land of the free and home of the brave.

And I ask: Are we really still free? Can we ever be brave enough? How free are we if even policemen have to worry about being shot? How much bravery can we continue to muster when churches, schools and parks, movie theaters, baseball games and concerts are all potential killing zones?

Look, I don’t know a damned thing about Constitutional Law, but I do know how to read. This morning I felt compelled to log onto the web site of the National Archives and read for myself the words that are our elected officials’ excuse for doing nothing about mass murder in the United States.

Here goes:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
This is not a simple sentence. Gun advocates would have us skip the first thirteen words (which I’ve italicized). But there they are. And they are there for a reason.

The Continental Army was disbanded in 1784; experience with the British had made leaders of our young nation distrustful of standing armies. And so the security of each “State” was dependent upon State Militias.

Written in 1789, the second amendment is not the simple pronouncement of a “right.” It links the right to an obligation, a responsibility, a condition. The purpose of allowing “the people” to keep and bear arms was so that gun owners could serve in a well regulated local “Militias” for the defense of each state.

Think of the minutemen of New England. Each town had its own band of well-organized defenders who could and did grab their muskets “at a minute’s notice” and gather to bear arms for the sake of fighting off a foreign invader.

There is nothing in the second amendment that advocates unregulated gun ownership or stockpiling fire arms for purposes of intimidating neighbors, stalking suspicious looking persons, occupying public lands, waging gang warfare, or killing as many innocent people as possible in a blaze of suicidal lunacy. In fact, there is not even the explicit mention of gun ownership for self-defense.

It’s time to challenge the NRA and gun manufacturers who are making millions while thousands die.

It’s heartbreaking to think that 58 families have lost their loved ones because a single crazed man had easy access to too many deadly weapons and too much ammunition. It’s time to do more than hold candlelight vigils and moments of silence. In fact, the time for silence is long since past.

Those of us who wish to be protected from weapons of war being stockpiled in unknown locations by unidentified, and possibly unstable fellow citizens, need to speak out. Call your Congressmen. Call your Senators. Call the White House. Stand on a street corner with a sign. March on Washington. Do something. Anything. Don’t wait until the body count includes one of your loved ones.