Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

March 5, 2013

It’s time to think the gun issue through

I am a gun owner and have been around guns all my life.

The Second Amendment consists of only two phrases: “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 draw your attention to the first phrase. The Constitution was written after the end of the Revolutionary War, aimed at correcting deficiencies in the Articles of Confederation brought to light by the war.

Reading all the 170 Federalist/Anti-Federalist Papers written in favor and rebuttal, you’ll find that a great portion of the arguments centered around which form of government could best “...provide for the common defense” i.e: a strong central federal government with a standing army or a loosely bound republic with volunteer state militias.

The Second Amendment was to gain the support of the Anti-Federalists. Foreign invasion was on the public’s mind. England, France and Spain already claimed vast portions of what is now the Continental U.S. Potential invaders were already within our boundaries..

Fortunately, we no longer live in the 1700-1800s, and that threat no longer exists. I don’t believe having a weapon in my home capable of firing a large number of rounds without reloading will do much to deter an invading army after they have already defeated the U.S. military. Forget it!

Enough has already been said about needing high-capacity magazines for hunting, so I won’t belabor the point. I believe there is consensus they’re not needed for that purpose.

Concerned about home invasion? Think it through. First, I have to retrieve my weapon from a gun safe, wall rack or bedside drawer.

If I have children in the home, either full time or only occasionally, if I’m a conscientious gun owner, it will be unloaded. When I’m finally ready, I’ll be lucky to get off two to four shots before I’ve killed someone or my weapon is taken away from me and used on me.

I doubt I’ll have need to come charging out of the bedroom spraying the living room with 20-30 rounds without reloading.

Let’s look at sporting competitions: First, hand-held (as opposed to shoulder fired) assault weapons are notoriously inaccurate over any distances that might be used for marksmanship competition, and second, you won’t be expected to fire 20-30 rounds without reloading.

What about the human trait of just wanting to “possess” something? I personally have as long a wish list as the next person.

But, usually after a period of rational thought, reason steps in and I conclude that my life won’t be substantially altered if I do or don’t have the gun of my dreams.

Machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns and silencers have been banned since 1934. Are we better or worse off because of it?

After the gang wars of the Prohibition era, the days of shoot-em up bank robbers of the 1920-30s; I think we can all conclude that we’re better off. The same will be said of high-volume magazines. But it’s my right! Yes it is.

Physicists tell us that the arrow of time always points toward entropy. Our society is constantly evolving and becoming more complex. Our laws need to keep pace,

How many things can you do or not do now that they could or couldn’t do in the 1700s? Is our lot better now than theirs was then? Granted, our society has a lot of failures and pitfalls to be corrected, but this could be a start. It’s time to apply some rational thought to this matter.

Ron Personett

Romney, W.Va.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014

  • Speed cameras Speed cameras

    We’ve never been big fans of speed cameras, primarily for two reasons. First, because the cameras are not always accurate, and secondly because many jurisdictions seem to create revenue by installing cameras and issuing high numbers of speeding tickets.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Group wants status quo on Sunday hunting

    Many Maryland residents have grown very concerned about two legislative bills that are arriving on the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley after being approved by both the Senate and House chambers this session. With the governor’s possible signature of these bills into law, hunting would be allowed on certain state lands on Sundays — a day in the past reserved for rest and non-hunters to enjoy public lands.

    April 10, 2014