I wish we could once and for all move beyond the confusion about the Second Amendment. But after reading Marie Cunha’s letter “An easy fix” (Your Views, May 12), I believe clarity on this amendment is needed.
The amendment begins with “A well regulated Militia ...,” which, as George Mason stated during the Revolutionary War, is composed of every free man. At that time, there was no standing army, and everyone was responsible for protecting their family, home and country. Despite the creation of a standing Army, this responsibility has not changed.
The amendment continues, “... being necessary to the securing of a free state” clarifies that people remain free (a status of freedom) only if they have the ability to secure and maintain their freedom through armed conflict, even against their own government.
The amendment concludes with “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed” to emphasize that all people have this right. That they can freely own and carry (bear) these weapons as they see fit, not as the government sees fit, and that the government has no authority to infringe.
The founders of our country understood the possibility that the enemy of freedom could be their government as well as an invading force, just as it was prior to the Revolutionary War. So, through the Bill of Rights, they placed limits on government. Furthermore, they formed a constitutional republic to ensure the power and authority to govern resided with the people.
We lend our authority to elected officials on a temporary basis. It is unfortunate that too many of our citizens would prefer to relinquish their rights, power and responsibilities to government officials, who tend to look after themselves better than their country.