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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Since the dawn of time, we have had the right to hunt and the right of self-defense. These rights are the basis of gun ownership. I am an avid hunter and own 10 guns secured in a steel combination-lock safe.
Let’s get right with our Constitution: Thomas Jefferson listed our inalienable rights in the order of their importance — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our representatives’ foremost responsibility is to protect our lives. Our Constitution provided for an armed force to ensure our protection from foreign powers. The Second Amendment (birth of our National Guard) ensured our protection from tyrants within our republic (remember some of our forefathers remained loyal to King George).
Under the Second Amendment, the men who were allowed to bear arms were required to purchase a military-style gun and ammunition for service in the citizen militia. These men were required to report for frequent trainings where their guns would be inspected and, yes, registered on public records. However, our founders knew it was a bad idea to allow all people to own guns. They denied ownership to slaves, free blacks and law-abiding whites who refused to swear loyalty to our revolution. Our founders believed in the individual mandate, the draft and strict gun regulation. They believed and practiced an ounce of prevention. Somehow, we lost their boundless wisdom. How did this happen?
Let us follow the money. Our gun manufacturers and retailers were interested in the volume of sales. They hired the National Rifle Association as a shield to deflect criticism of their irresponsibility in producing a deadly product without proper regulation. Background checks on all sales should have been a no-brainer for them. The NRA championed “the right to own a gun,” and the “government is coming to take your guns.” The manufacturers and retailers provided financial support to the NRA and our representatives who promised to vote against gun regulations. This is where real evil resides: Manufacturers, retailers and many of our representatives, mostly Republicans, have failed to protect our inalienable right to life.
Our recent presidents have supported gun regulation. President Reagan said no American citizen needs an assault weapon. President George H.W. Bush dropped his membership in the NRA because of its stance against gun regulations. It is time for all NRA members to search their soul. Will you stand with our presidents and the vast majority of us on this vital issue? You have a choice, drop your membership or vote for new leadership and expand the good work of the NRA.
Presently, 61 percent of us want stricter gun regulation, 56 percent want a ban on assault weapons and high capacity clips, magazines and drums and 92 percent want universal background checks. Guess what? Many of our representatives, mostly Republicans, still oppose these regulations.
They are blocking the will of the majority: They are tyrants. We must hold these representatives responsible. Call them to make your voice heard. The number to call for the House switchboard is 202-224-3121. The website for your senators is www.senate.gov, and for your representative, go to www.house.gov and enter your ZIP code. The gun regulation vote is the week after the Easter recess. The life you save may be someone you love.
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday