Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Charles LaPiene: Second Amendment protects gun ownership

To the editor:

Hill Boss of Amherst asked in his Feb. 25 letter (“Second Amendment caveat: ‘well-regulated militia’”): “Am I missing something?” In response may I offer the following:

The militia is not the National Guard or the armed forces. The militia is (was) comprised of all able-bodied men over the age of 16. These citizens provided their own arms, ammunition and supplies. The militia keeps the government forces in check if these forces are used by tyrants to subjugate free people.

In colonial times, “well-regulated” meant “well-functioning,” for this was the meaning of those words at that times.

This was demonstrated by the following passage from the original 1789 charter of the University of North Carolina. “Whereas in all well regulated government it is the indispensable duty of every Legislature to consult the happiness of a rising generation ...”

Moreover the Oxford English Dictionary defines “regulated” among other things as “properly disciplined.”

Privately kept firearms, and training with them, apart from formal militia mustering, thus was encompassed by the Second Amendment, in order to enable able-bodied citizens to be trained by being familiar in advance with the functioning of firearms. In that way, when organized, the militia would be able to function well.

Nevertheless, a properly functioning militia fundamentally presupposed that the individual citizen be allowed to keep, practice and train himself in the use of firearms.

Further, we do not have “minimal” limits on gun ownership, nor do current suggestions advocate “minimum limits.”

Use the First Amendment as an example. How would the citizens feel if they were required to register, pay a tax for a permission, be photographed, fingerprinted and interviewed and subject to arbitrary “rules” and intrusions by an authority? Just to print and read a newspaper, buy a book, visit a church, speak at a rally or buy a used book at the local library fundraiser?

Refer to Switzerland where every household with an able-bodied member must possess and train with a machine gun.

Check out the crime rate for this nation.

Even Hitler dared not invade even though they were surrounded, vastly outnumbered and isolated.

Charles LaPiene

Granby

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