A Prescription For Death

To the Editor:

The present gun control changes before Congress to prevent gun violence do not include assault weapons and other items vital to stop senseless gun violence. The reasons vary. I have spoken to a local person who is also opposed to any gun control. Apparently, this person would rather continue to see the slaughter in our streets, our classrooms, and in our homes. No tragedy, however troubling, can persuade them to give up their guns.

To be sure, there are occasions when guns are a must such as in hunting or dangerous areas where a storekeeper must be able to protect himself.

But these are the exceptions. There is no need for assault rifles, machine guns, and similar weapons that can inflict multiple mayhem wherever they are used. Whatever happened to common sense? We are no longer fighting a war of liberation in our country where a militia, an irregular force of volunteers with assorted weapons rises up to defend our freedoms.

For those who insist on their right to carry weapons based on the Second Amendment to our Constitution, my advice is to look at the words and their meaning. The rights of the people to carry arms shall not be constrained. Why? Because a militia was needed then. Not because of crime or other social upheavals such as riots. Apparently, our gun fanatics have forgotten that a police force, National Guard and a regular Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force exist. What do you think they are for? These forces have taken the place of militias and what is more: they are professionals much better equipped to deal with violence.

If these folks insist on firing assault weapons, we can oblige them easy enough: Join the Army and you can have your pick of weapons. I did when serving in the 2nd Armored “Hell on Wheels” Division. It is imperative that we must rally against any forces in the courts to defeat this twisted, outdated and shop-worn interpretation of the Second Amendment dealing not with every citizen but restricting it to a militia. Does anybody believe that assault rifles and machine guns were meant to be carried? They did not exist in the days of militias until the Gatling gun came out near the end of our Civil War. The Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 are long behind us and with it the need for militias.

What the gun lovers refer to as militias would in today’s times be an armed mob such as a lynch mob. I think we can do better things with our time and leave the firing of automatic weapons and assault guns and similar devices of death and destruction to the professionals whom, I might add, we pay to do their job. We do not need vigilantes in this day and age, nor do we need crazed people to cause mayhem and leave a trail of death and unbearable grief for those affected by their misdeeds. We call ourselves a civilized people, let’s act accordingly.

Oscar Berendsohn

34 Apple Blossom Lane, Newtown                                                                 March 14, 2013

More stories like this: guns, Second Amendment


A reply to Mr. Berendsohn

Mr. Berendsohn:

You might find it interesting to know there exists a very essentially different interpretation of the wording of the 2nd amendment, which reads verbatim as follows: “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.”

My interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is that because the State has a militia to defend the collective community or population, the individudal’s right to defend himself against the State’s militia shall not be infringed. You may disagree with my interpretation, but I like it…and given that the Founding Fathers had just completed a war risking their lives and fortunes fighting against tyranny, they would be understandably averse to repeating such a war and take great pains in drafting the Bill of Rights to wordsmith protective language and provide for a means of defense.

What I fail to understand is a connection I sense you and others make between the manufacture and/or possession of weapons employing high capacity magazines and the actions of mass murderers. It’s as if possessing a weapon somehow incriminates you for the actions of others. By that logic, possession of a Boeing 757 should incriminate all airlines for the actions of Mohammad Atta…I don’t get it.

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