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The Hieroglyphics of the Second Amendment

To the Editor

The Second Amendment to our Constitution has had five Supreme Court reviews and decisions, all of them with a different interpretation. This is not surprising since they may as well have interpreted Egyptian hieroglyphics. The times and the context in which this amendment was passed bears not the slightest resemblance to our modern world. It was a world of constant violent conflicts, both external and internal, of totally different demographics, of different concepts of the laws and the rights of men, of a totally different social environment, of internal conflicts to the direction of our future government and the role of the federal government and a world in which the most destructive device was the cannon.

What does all this have to do with the right to bear arms? In a word: Everything! The conditions leading up they the Second Amendment no longer exist. They are gone with the wind, gone along with the Minuteman, gone with the cavalry charge, gone with the muzzle loaded rifle. The world today is one of weapons of mass destruction and the danger it presents that such weapons fall into the hands of the wrong people — and they have only too frequently with terrible results for those affected.

The Second Amendment as it stands can no more be applied to our modern world than the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt. Any effort by our Supreme Court to give a modern interpretation must of need be only their personal belief as to whether every person has a right to modern weaponry, but cannot be based on any valid interpretation of our Second Amendment. Some laws have outlived their function and must be rewritten so that common sense may prevail or even the best of our judges will render opinions that are not in the interest of our society.

The Second Amendment is a prime example. There are other examples in the Constitution I have mentioned in the past. I doubt whether most people are aware that they are entitled by our Constitution in small claims court to a jury trial since almost every claim is above $30. A trial circus would result if everyone insisted on this right. Yet, there it is for everyone to invoke.

Unlike the right to such trial, the Second Amendment is fraught with danger in a modern age when assault rifles are sold at gun shows to every fanatic who thinks he can outshoot the US Army. We have had enough of these ill-conceived acts hiding behind the cloak of claims of a potential tyrannical government. I heard an opinion to the effect that it would have been great if people had been armed when the Boston Massacre occurred. Madness! It would have been a shootout rivaling the OK Corral with all the victims being bystanders and the criminals safely away. Let the police do their job, that is what they are for. We do not need another Doc Holiday or Wyatt Earp. They disappeared with the Wild West.

We the people must challenge in court the Second Amendment as it is presently written. It must be referred back to our legislative government or the states for a revision. Hieroglyphics and their interpretation belong in a museum not in our court system. In the meantime, the states must decide on their best course of action with respect to the issue of gun permits.

Oscar Berendsohn

34 Appleblossom Lane, Newtown              May 14, 2013

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