Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

January 21, 2013

Stop circumventing the Constitution

The terrible shooting events that have occurred lately are disturbing to say the least. The entire country is understandably emotional.

We teach our children to “count to 10” before they react to a situation when they are upset and I believe that government should do the same before they create more gun laws.

Thomas Jefferson has been quoted as saying, “When angry, count to 10 before you speak. If very angry, count to 10.”

The biggest problem with this entire dialog is that nobody involved truly understands the Constitution. It is not written in hieroglyphics. It doesn’t need intense interpretation.

Read anything written by the wisest American to ever live, Thomas Jefferson, and you will thoroughly understand the context under which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was written.

If gun laws are to be changed, then it has to be done through the amendment process as it pertains to the U.S. Constitution. The states don’t have the authority to infringe upon these rights.

Politicians won’t touch the amendment topic because it isn’t fast enough or easy enough for them.

If it is something that they feel the majority of Americans are in support of, then at least go through the amendment process and legally give the states jurisdiction over their own gun laws, allowing them to constitutionally control our right to keep and bear arms.

Then people can realistically move to the state that best represents their views on gun ownership. This is already happening now, but the differences in gun laws between states are all essentially unconstitutional to begin with.

Changing federal laws doesn’t allow for a reasonable option for the citizen who disagrees with new legislation besides leaving the country. Lawmakers need to stop circumventing the Constitution which will slow this entire process down enough for all sides to be heard and be fairly represented.

What concerns me most about the gun law debates is that both sides seem willing to sacrifice “assault weapon” owners. Personally, I hate the term “assault weapon. I prefer “defensive weapon.”

Does it really make a difference about armor piercing rounds? If someone was shot in the head, how would laws against armor piercing rounds have prevented that? Truth is that I buy full metal jacket ammunition because it is cheaper.

The typical response about “defensive weapons” is, “Why do you need that?” My response would be, “Since when do I need to prove my need for anything that is guaranteed to me in the Bill of Rights?”

When I was in the military I took an oath to protect my country from enemies both foreign and domestic, now that same oath pertains to my family.

My guns are there for recreation and for defense against those who want to take what is mine, whether that is my money and belongings or my rights and freedoms!

I am no longer embarrassed to declare that I don’t trust my government. It is the government that should be embarrassed that I am saying that.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution is not there for hunters, although hunters are probably the only reason that we have any gun rights left in this country, but as a protection from an overbearing government.

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — Thomas Jefferson

The founding fathers understood liberty. We as a nation seem to have lost grasp of the concept.

Brian M. Friend

Oakland

 

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