• November 18, 2019

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gun laws don’t stop gunmen - Odessa American: Letters To Editor

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gun laws don’t stop gunmen

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Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2019 6:30 am

I have some comments about the letters in Sunday’s (9/08/19) edition.

First Mr. Woodruff’s letter, in which he suggests a special license for people who own AR-15’s. He compares it to the difference between a regular driver’s license and a commercial license. This comparison between driving and owning a gun has been thoroughly overworked! The people who compare the two ignore one fact. Driving is a privilege; owning a gun is a right. Privileges may be restricted, suspended, or even cancelled. Rights MAY NOT be restricted, suspended, or cancelled! Rights are not granted by the government; they are God-given.

Next, he says that we do not need “assault rifles whose only purpose is to kill a large number of people rapidly.” He is totally wrong. Literally, hundreds of thousands of people use these weapons every day for hunting, target shooting, competitive shooting, and self-defense. All of the so-called “assault rifles” are nothing of the sort. An assault rifle is a military, full-automatic weapon, which is used in war. AR-15’s and AK-47’s are semi-automatic, which means they fire only one shot with one trigger pull. No military in the world uses them for war

Now, to Mr. Isner’s letter, in which he calls me “ignorant” for saying that the Constitution says we have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Well, Chuck, you got me! Yep, I’m guilty! As you pointed out, that phrase is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. However, you “ignorantly” claimed that that proved that I am ignorant. Way wrong, I simply made a mistake. I am fully aware that the phrase is in the Declaration of Independence. I was merely thinking farther ahead than I was typing, thinking about the Constitution, and the 2nd Amendment. And, it does not negate my point about the right to keep and bear arms.

How, Mr. Isner is “ignorant” about the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment. He claims that the wording, “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” means that the intent was to allow the people to bear arms in the state militia. He is so far wrong in that that he must be the ignorant one.

First, the phrase, “a well-regulated militia” is a subordinate preface to the phrase, “the right of the people”, etc. The 2nd Amendment refers to the “unorganized militia’, not the state militia, which would be the National Guard. The “unorganized militia”, in the words of George Meason, one of the framers of the Constitution, is evidenced by his statement, “I ask, sir, what is the militia. It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” Also, the author of the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson said, “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”, thus making it plainly obvious that the phrase “the people” means exactly that. The people; you, me, the next-door neighbor, and the guy down the street. Also, the term “well-regulated” does not mean “regulated by law or statute”. In the language usage of the time, it meant “well-trained and disciplined”. In other words, thoroughly familiar with, and disciplined in the use of a weapon.

Next, Mr. Isner takes issue with my claim that, without the 2nd Amendment, the U.S. would become a dictatorship, like practically every other country in the world. As examples of that, he lists Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Australia, and others. Then he immediately gives the lie to his statement by saying their laws are much more restrictive than ours. That is exactly my point! While they may not be full dictatorships, they absolutely do not have the freedoms which we, as U.S citizens have. Canada has very restrictive gun laws and crime rate is very high, because most of the guns are in the hands of the criminals. Britain has almost totally banned private ownership of guns, and consequently, their crime rate has gone through the roof! Now, they have astronomical numbers of knife crimes, to the point that they have outlawed knives with points! And, the English courts do not recognize self-defense as a right. If you defend yourself against attack, you are the one who will go to jail.

And, finally, he mentions the polls which supposedly show that the majority of the U.S. population is in favor of universal background checks, and bans on “assault weapons”. He conveniently ignores the way polls operate, Most polls ask 1000 people their opinions. The U.S. population is approximately 320 million people, so there is no way that 1000 people are representative of the majority of the population. Remember, these are the same polls that indicated Hillary had a 93% chance of winning the 2016 presidential election! I am 73 years old and I have never in my life been asked a poll. I don’t know anyone who has, or even anyone who knows anyone who has. It has been estimated that there are approximately 300 million privately owned guns in the U.S. Mr. Isner mentions that one poll show that only 30% of the population owns guns. So, 30% of 320 million people own 300 million of the guns? I don’t think so!

And, as an aside, of the approximately 32000 annual deaths by firearm, rifles are used in only approximately 350 of them, and assault rifles are an even smaller percentage of that number. According to FBI statistics, more people are killed each year, about 600, by being beaten to death by fists and feet, than are killed by rifles.

All the gun laws already on the books have not stopped a single gun crime, so why would anyone believe that more gun laws will do so? The problem is people, not guns!

Odessa, TX

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