Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

April 21, 2013

Right to bear arms not unconditional

Speaking as a gun owner, the U.S. Senate vote today (April 17) defeating West Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s bill to require the same background checks at gun shows that “over the counter” gun sales require, is an abomination.

The senators who voted against it should be sent home at the earliest voter opportunity.

It has been pointed out, correctly, that the auto is a killing machine. However, before I can operate an auto I must get a license. To do so I must; 1. demonstrate certain physical abilities; i.e. vision and mobility. 2. I must demonstrate my knowledge of the laws by passing a written test. 3. I must demonstrate my ability to control the vehicle by passing a driving test. Where is the parallel to guns? In some jurisdictions I’m not allowed to talk on my cell phone or text. (Wonder what the Founding Fathers thought about that?)

Now, off my soap box. Much has been said and written about the English Bill of Rights of 1689 and its relevance to the U.S. Bill of Rights, Second Amendment. Let’s examine the history behind the English Bill of Rights.

It followed out of the “Assize of Arms, 1181” in the Reign of Henry II. It proclaimed that;

1. “Let every holder of a knight’s fee have a hauberk, a helmet, a shield and lance. And let every knight have as  many hauberks, helmets, shields and lances, as he has knights fees in his demise.”

2. “Also, let every freeman, who holds chattels or rent to the value of 16 marks, have hauberk, a helmet a shield, and a lance. Also let every freeman who holds chattels or rent worth 10 marks have an aubergel and a  headpiece of iron and a lance ...”

4. “Moreover, let each and every one of them swear before the feast of St. Hilary he will possess these arms and will bear allegiance to the lord king Henry, namely the son of empress Maud, and he will bear these arms in his service according to his order and in allegiance to the lord king and his realm ...”

Contrary to what appears to be popular thought, the English Bill of Rights was regulated according to your status in life!

In the era before standing armies, the only way lords and kings could raise an army was by relying on the arms of their subjects. Later, King James II was a Roman Catholic. Among other grievances, he declared that Protestants were not allowed to bear arms to protect his throne and ensure a continued Catholic line.

The English Bill of Rights was primarily to allow the Protestants to protect themselves from the Catholics. First, the grievance, and second, the remedy related to bearing arms was;

1. “By causing several good subjects being Protestant to be disarmed at the same time when Papists were both armed and employed contrary to law. “

2. “That the subjects which are Protestant may have arms for their defense suitable to their condition and as allowed by law”

Thus, the right to bear arms was not unconditional. There were rules and restrictions. We need to be cautious in applying 16th century reasoning to 21st century problems. We now have standing armies and I don’t believe the Protestants fear attack from the Catholics any longer.

Medieval society could not, in their wildest imagination or dreams, envision all the problems facing our 21st century society.

Let’s be rational about gun control and direct our emotions to urging voters to exercise their voting privilege on all matters that affect us.

Ron Personett

Romney W.Va.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • It might not be a problem, but a possibility

    God certainly orchestrates circumstances that cause us to marvel. The recent flood In Cresaptown that Calvary Baptist Church/School endured is proving to be yet another miracle birthed out of devastation.

    July 24, 2014

  • Look to the Jubilee solution to resolve our economic woes

    Following the Lehman banking debacle of 2008, the government sponsored bailout of the banking sector to boost the economy created an illusion of recovery.

    July 24, 2014

  • Common Core curriculum is bad news for West Virginians

    If something is not done soon, the vast majority of American K-12 school children will be taught using dubious, federally backed national education “standards” that have come under fire from across the political spectrum.

    July 24, 2014

  • Please return valuable items taken from woman’s parked van

    On July 8 at 2:33 p.m. my 16-year-old granddaughter Caitlyn Cook and I arrived at Children’s Medical Group for a 3 p.m. appointment.

    July 23, 2014

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014