“The Right To Bear Arms”
By Fred Mittag
“Be careful if you go to America. You may be shot and killed.” That was from a former deputy prime minister of Australia, who warned his countrymen after the Colorado theater massacre that they were 15 times more likely to be shot in America. The gun lobby says, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Well, then, a nuclear bomb didn’t destroy Hiroshima; it was the bombardier. A bulldozer doesn’t move earth; the operator does.
In spite of the alarming rise of gun killings in Mexico, they are barely ahead of us, with a murder rate of 12 per 100,000 compared to 10.27 in America. Compare that to England’s 0.46 rate where not even the police are armed.
President Calderon has pleaded with the U.S. for better gun control. Many illegal guns in Mexico have been traced back to a popular sporting goods store in Houston called “Carter’s Country.” Yet, the U.S. expects Calderon to control drugs in Mexico. Something’s wrong about this equation.
More than 30,000 annual gun deaths in America numb our souls, making us forget that blood really does flow, followed by human grief, along with the gouging of a $6,000 dollar funeral that adds financial pain to emotional distress.
Wayne LaPierre, of the National Rifle Association, makes a salary of $1 million dollars per year. For gunmaker profits, it’s good to have an occasional massacre, because sales will go up. It’s even better to have a black Muslim president who was born in Kenya. Gunmakers could not keep up after Obama’s election and had to suspend orders. LaPierre helps gun sales, too, with threats to cowardly congressmen if they attempt controls – juxtaposed with sinister warnings that the government is about to take away your guns.
It’s appalling that the NRA has convinced so many people – including politicians and judges – that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns. A basic grasp of English is enough to understand that the Second Amendment means a “well- regulated militia.” By contrast, James Holmes of the Aurora massacre was “not well- regulated,” buying firearms at will and 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet.
Warren Burger was a conservative Republican and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately, a test of the Second Amendment never came to the Court during his tenure. But he did write an article for Parade Magazine titled “The Right to Bear Arms.”
Burger proved that the Founding Fathers considered the militias to be the backbone of defense. The first Congress authorized a standing Army of only 840 men. When President Washington put down the “Whiskey Rebellion,” he raised an army of 3,000 from the state militias. Burger wrote “Today, a huge national defense establishment has taken over the role of the militia of 200 years ago.”
The Chief Justice concluded that the interpretation of an individual’s right to bear arms is “. . . one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies – the militias – would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.”
The Second Amendment was about flintlock muskets that required 15 seconds to reload, at the fastest. Muskets were fitted with bayonets and after firing their round, soldiers charged with bayonet. Cannon were too heavy to bear.
Since Burger’s departure in 1986, Republican appointments have made the Court ever more conservative and less judicial. In 2009 the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the D.C. ban on handguns violated the Second Amendment. This was the first time in history that the Court had ruled on this interpretation of the Second Amendment. The decision was 5-4, meaning five ideological opinions and four legal opinions.
Nobody in America has bloodier hands than Wayne LaPierre. “Well armed civilians being necessary to the conduct of massacres, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed [by gun control].” Republican Congressman Gohmert of Texas could not understand why nobody in the theater was armed to defend against James Holmes. Don’t leave home without your AK-47. You may need it when you go to the movies.