Newtown Tragedy and the Second Amendment

There is nothing that can be written or expressed to fully set forth the pain, suffering and misery experienced by this poor town and, more particularly, the parents of those innocent deceased children.  I don’t know any of those people.  I have never been to Connecticut.  However, it is almost too painful for me to even look at the faces of those murdered children on the television.

As a father of three children, I am not sure how I could bear the loss of a son or daughter.  I have always said that if I lost every single possession I owned – my house, truck, clothes, tools – everything – but still had my healthy family, I would be just fine.  But I do know this:  I would never be fine if I lost a child and those parents will never be the same again.  My grandparents were never the same after the loss of my uncle Mike when he was just 14 years old.  I was only a baby when the tragedy happened.  He was killed on a motorcycle in Red Bank, Tennessee in 1969 I believe.  Yet his memory lingered on and brought sadness to the family.  Terrible, enduring, ever-present sadness.

The Sandy Hook murders happened and there is nothing that we can do to reverse the past.  What should we do for the future?  How should we protect our precious children?  The debate rages today in the aftermath of Sandy Hook.  Proposals include banning firearms, arming teachers, increased scrutiny upon citizens that suffer from mental illness.

On Wednesday, President Obama apparently stated: “A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons.  A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all.”

Perhaps the President is right about what the majority believes.  However, we must not forget that even if a majority of people feel a certain way, we cannot trample upon the rights of the minority to achieve a certain result.  Our Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, were promulgated not for the majority, but for the minority.  And our founding fathers were not dummies.  So they amended the Constitution to include the following statement:  “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.”  The term “militia” is commonly known today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens. Thus, armed ordinary citizens are “. . . necessary to the security of a free State.”

Apparently the Obama administration would erode the meaning of the Second Amendment so that the only arms that citizens could possess would be for hunting and recreational use.  But how can citizens provide for the security of a free State with hunting and recreational arms?  They cannot.  So, in my opinion, the proposals set forth by the administration are an infringement upon the rights of our citizens – even if they are a minority as the President alleges.

While I am deeply troubled by the events at Sandy Hook, I cannot ignore history and the thoughtful words that our founding fathers placed into the very foundation of our country.

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