Letter: Getting facts straight | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Getting facts straight

It is seldom that a letter one puts forth in a local paper gets a response. But, as usual, quibbling about the details is meant to distract from the main point. My main point is that allowing the use of military-type weapons by ordinary citizens is wrong and it needs to be stopped. No other country similar to ours suffers anywhere near the slaughter we do. The gun lobby has brought us this tragic state purely in the interest of monetary gain. The profits of the gun industry have been great, and it has used that wealth to buy off our elected officials. Literally millions of dollars have flowed to politicians over many decades.

The gun lobby has carefully cultivated (as in “paid”) academics and others to create an alternate story of the creation of the Second Amendment that promotes the idea of an individual right as opposed to a right of a state to maintain and keep control of (as in “well regulated”) their own force. The dutiful right wing of the Supreme Court reversed 219 years of understanding in a 5-4 partisan vote. What have been carefully covered over are the clear expressions of limitations on gun ownership by Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion.

A very good history of the origin of the Second Amendment can be found at http://lawreview.law.ucdavis.edu/issues/31/2/Articles/DavisVol31No2_Bogus.pdf. In short, the new Constitution had given the ultimate authority over states’ militias to the proposed federal government. Some Northern states had banned slavery. The Constitution had already been modified to postpone any actions regarding “manumission” (freedom) of the slaves. It was the militias in the slave-holding states that acted as a police state. The fear was that the new government could simply defund a state’s militia and leave that state’s white population without control or protection. The Second Amendment was created by President James Madison to get the crucial Virginia ratification.

Early reports on the Orlando shooting said that police identified the murder weapon as an AR-15. That was later changed to a Sig Sauer MCX. The MCX is a fairly new weapon that was developed with the military’s special operations forces in mind. There are a number of guns on the market that are similar in appearance, function and purpose. This civilian assault-style model was apparently semi-automatic. Because such guns automatically load new rounds, they are sometimes referred to as automatic, even by gun experts.

The Barbary pirates were not “terrorists”; they were raiders and pirates who sought white Europeans for the African slave trade and tribute from ships for safe passage. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Madison sent the U.S. Navy in 1801 and 1805 and stopped the practice.

Patrick Hunter


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