Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Bearing Arms and Controlling Crime

US Constitution, Amendment II

"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." I'm always intrigued when I see an academic endorse the nonsense that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the one amendment in the Bill of Rights in which the word "people" refers to a collective right of the states ("Door No. 1: Muskets? Or Door No. 2: Free Speech?," Sept. 19, Opinion page). The author of that article, Robert J. Spitzer, cites a list of organizations that "pose a threat" to liberty. But in an age of Abner Louimas and Wacos, it's hard to forget that the major perpetrator of violence is our government, and that the Second Amendment was intended to provide us a means of defense against state power. Finally, I agree that the Second Amendment is not necessarily "more essential," as Charlton Heston is quoted, than the First Amendment. I, for one, would happily bear arms to defend the author's right to speak nonsense. J.D. Tuccille New York I was greatly saddened to read yet another totally incorrect interpretation of the Second Amendment. Many constitutional scholars have written extensively on this amendment and overwhelmingly agree that it refers to individuals, not militias. The writers of the Bill of Rights knew exactly why citizens should never be denied the right to "bear arms." An armed citizenry is the only guarantee against tyranny. I doubt if throwing our PCs and swatting with a copy of the Monitor at oppressive government troops would do much good. Ask any Cuban or German. They lost their right to own firearms just before they lost the rest of their rights. A dictator knows which rights to remove first. The rest fall easily. Don't forget, the first shot of the Revolution was fired in response to the Redcoats marching into Trenton and Concord to confiscate citizens' weapons. The colonists knew that confiscation would lead to their demise. If anyone believes that our own government can't ever do that to us, remember, we had a government that did just that - England. …

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