Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

February 12, 2013

We waste time arguing about the wrong things

Some opinions expressed recently in this paper are worrisome. The Bill of Rights and the Constitution as a whole are manmade, not God-given.

No one should presume to read the Second Amendment as if it was written today. Words were carefully chosen by our founding fathers and reflect the times in which they lived.

If you read the current Supreme Court decisions regarding that amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago you will appreciate just how complicated that task is and many will side with the interpretations of Scalia and Alito, the majority opinions, while others will find Breyer and Stevens’ opinions more convincing.

Regardless, the Roberts Court decision is the law of the land and it has ruled that the individual has the right to a firearm for self-defense. Interestingly, any credence given to the right to be armed in case our government becomes tyrannical was treated as a vestige of the past, rooted in the fear of a standing army like the ones that were menacing much of Europe at the time.

As a matter of fact, both Alito and Scalia said that reasonable regulation of firearms can stand and Scalia pointedly said, “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Regardless of your opinion, we need a dose of reality. Today we have a standing army, the most powerful in the world. It could park a softball-size drone outside your bedroom window and zap your backside while both you and your assault rifle lay sleeping.

Should you upgrade to surface to air weaponry? There is no need for more powerful weapons in our society other than the one we received on our 18th birthday — the right to vote. Every four years you can vote the commander-in-chief out or in.

President Obama and liberals are constantly accused of killing the unborn. How about sharing the blame? The Roberts Court has had a majority of five very conservative Catholic justices — Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Scalia and Kennedy.

Their religious beliefs are strongly against abortion. They could have green-lighted a challenge to Roe v. Wade years ago and heard it by now. Isn’t it fair to say that five conservative Republican justices are responsible?

Teachers can pray before, during and after school for their students. Many students, who receive their religious training at home and at houses of worship, can do likewise. It’s called silent prayer.

My experience with public prayer in school was as a student at a Jesuit high school. Prayer at the start of class and then a slap across the face when you didn’t remember a Latin vocabulary word.

Yelling, humiliating, in your face put downs would make us into the men that some letter writers eulogize over as missing in our society today because we no longer pray publicly anymore.

Let’s stop claiming that our founding fathers spoke with one (Christian) voice. Talk of George Washington praying for hours each day is from the same literary genre that claims Thomas Jefferson was an Evangelical Christian. Read Pauline Maier’s book, “Ratification,” to see how messy the whole process was.

The millionaires on cable news and radio would rather have us spend our energy fighting over all these issues than see the bleak economic future facing us and our children.

Let’s start talking about the economy before the very wealthy, who are making $97,000 an hour, reach $100,000.

William Tunney

Grantsville

 

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