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Section A: General News


Letter: Technology moves forward, including weapons




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February 20, 2013 | 923 views | Post a comment

Editor:

Re: Who needs an AR rifle? That’s not for me to say,” Feb. 6

“... A well-regulated Militia, composed of the Gentlemen, Freeholders, and other Freemen was necessary to protect our ancient laws and liberty from the standing army ... And we do each of us, for ourselves respectively, promise and engage to keep a good Fire-lock in proper order and to furnish Ourselves as soon as possible with, and always keep by us, one Pound of Gunpowder, four Pounds of Lead, one Dozen Gun Flints, and a pair of Bullet Moulds, with a Cartouch Box, or powder horn, and Bag for Balls.” -- George Mason - 1770.

This was written after the Boston Massacre and before the Declaration of Independence, during a firearms confiscation scheme enacted by the government enforced by the standing army.

In the language of the day, the term “well regulated” means properly functioning, and the list following “composed of” was the population at large. The Freestanding Army referenced is obviously the British Army (i.e. the government), and the supply list was at the time a full combat load in the arms technology of the day.

I hear and see people touting the belief that the Founding Fathers didn’t know anything about modern weapons and “high capacity magazines,” and therefore the Second Amendment doesn’t apply or should only apply to shotguns and muskets. I disagree. The Founding Fathers were intelligent men who understood technology moves forward and no doubt weapons would as well. That made no difference to them; the idea was that the people be armed just as the standing army of the time was armed. That principle has not changed, nor have the reasons for it.

Since Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act (18 USCS Sec. 1385) in 1878, making it illegal for the government to deploy its military against “we the people” (my words), there have been at least 114 instances of use of U.S. military against its own citizens participating in “unrest,” 1878-1994. That number grows to 136 if you go back to 1775.

“Of the people, by the people, for the people” ... Really?

I submit that the modern equivalent to the Boston Massacre is Kent State and the modern equivalent for that supply list is a battle rifle, assault rifle, or carbine, the magazines to feed it, 200 rounds of ammunition, and the load-bearing equipment to transport it.

The politics of power and greed that drove this have not changed, nor has the ability of a government to put down an armed populace. What has changed is the intestinal fortitude, morals, and values of our population.

Nothing makes me angrier than an elected official telling me what I need. “If it only saves one life” is not a reason to strip us of our rights, especially the one that guarantees the rest.

HAROLD ROWAN

La Vernia
 

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