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Second Amendment Needs An Update

To the Editor:

I have tried, it seems in vain, to explain to some folks the need for changing the language of the Second Amendment. This time I will examine the question in such terms that even a caveman can understand me. If asking an NRA follower if everyone should be allowed atomic weapons, he would probably say that I have lost it. Well certainly if not atomic weapons, then we should be allowed to keep tanks. But that is not practical or possible would be the reply. Then how about machine guns, laser weapons or tasers. Ah, they would say this we can discuss. But no, we can’t. They have just been asked to draw a line somewhere as to which weapons would be ok and which are not. In other words, there is a line which we cannot cross as a civilized people without causing possibly all kinds of havoc.

Such line does not exist in the language of the present Second Amendment my friends!

This is my point.

It is that a definition is needed to determine who controls the use of which weapons regardless of what they are. The state, the federal government, or who? Somebody has to or chaos will result. What weapons are allowed, and who makes such decision?

It was easy in the days of 1791 when the Second Amendment was written. There were mainly muskets, muzzle-loaded pistols, knives, and swords. Everybody was familiar with these and who would wish to walk around with a cannon, the only weapon of mass destruction at the time.

Thus it took only one sentence to expressly guarantee everybody free access to arms. What was not said was that this was necessary because neither side, the Hamiltonians or the Jefferson people, wanted a standing army out of fear it could be used by a potential tyrant and cost the people their freedom.

Thus the need for a militia in the event of war to allow the time to establish a standing army. The Second Amendment when written could not possibly foresee modern weapons of mass destruction of which there are today so many.

As the Second Amendment is written it is a Pandora’s box of mischief today, depending on who sits on the Supreme Court, who challenges it, how much the NRA can spend on its programs, and who controls the executive branch. There will be no end of tragedies, grief, and bloodshed until this anachronistic sentence is expanded to determine who controls the issuance of weapons, to what degree, who will take the responsibility of assuring that weapons do not reach the wrong hands. We here in Newtown have seen what can happen. Let us all agree to take a hard look at the Second Amendment and see how we can change it so our common citizen can be sure that we have improved his safety while upholding the rights of the hunter, those concerned about civil liberties, and sportsmen.

Oscar Berendsohn

34 Appleblossom Lane, Newtown                                      June 6, 2013

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