2nd Amendment history lesson
I read a Dec. 30 Opinion letter entitled “NRA needs to get serious.” The writer stated: “The original purpose of the Second Amendment was to have a militia armed with muskets ready to defend the government.” The Second Amendment actually protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It reads: “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.”
America’s early leaders were very concerned about protecting the citizens from the type of British government tyranny they had fought long and hard to escape. They knew a well-armed citizenry would protect Americans from being overtaken by tyrannical leaders. In 1788, Continental Congressman Tench Coxe of Pennsylvania expressed the following: “The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
On June 8, 1789, in the newly formed U.S. House of Representatives, Madison proposed a bill of rights which included the following: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country...”
The tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook School was heartbreaking, but the perpetrator was mentally unstable. These types of tragedies will not end by depriving responsible, law-abiding gun owners of their Second Amendment rights. We need to address problems of mental illness, the side effects of psychotropic drugs and the influence violent movies and video games have on children, adults and mentally unstable individuals. We also need to find ways to better protect our schools, public gathering places and neighborhoods.