Letters to the Editor

Interpretation of Second Amendment has strayed far from its roots | Letter to the Editor

I agree with the author of a letter in last week’s paper that the National Rifle Association, as an organization, was not responsible for the Newtown massacre (“Violence caused by a murderer, not the NRA”). However, I have to strongly disagree with his interpretation and misquoting of Article II of the Constitution (also called the Second Amendment).

The amendment states, “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.” Nowhere in these lines is there any reference to standing against the tyranny of government. At the time of its writing in 1787, the United States had no permanent standing army. The militia was the method by which an army would be raised for the defense of the country. The amendment is referring to that practice and that alone.

The amendment is in effect about maintaining an army as was the practice at that time. Our modern interpretation of the amendment departs far from this idea and seems to be more about individual freedoms rather than protecting the country.

 

— John Williams

 

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