Letters to the Editor

Second Amendment framers were concerned about power of government

The Jan. 30 issue of The Beachcomber included two letters to the editor that disagreed with an earlier letter by Jim Plihal, regarding interpretation of the Second Amendment, specifically the ability of the people to defend against tyranny. For clarification, John Williams (“Interpretation of amendment has strayed from its roots”) mistakenly claimed that Article II of the constitution is “also called the Second Amendment,” when, in fact, Article II creates the executive branch and is not an amendment at all.

I believe that the reference made by Jim Plihal (“Violence caused by a murderer, not the NRA,” Jan. 23) and Thomas Jefferson can be found in the introduction to the first Ten Amendments, which states, in part, “a number of the states …expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government.”

This introduced and gave purpose to the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution. In addition, there is reference to language in the Second Amendment itself, “being necessary to the security of a free state.” As Ben Shapiro says, “History is replete with examples of democracies who have gone tyrannical.”

So, while there is no explicit mention of fighting tyranny in the Second Amendment, Jefferson and Madison, in particular, knew very well that power tends to corrupt and that the people must be able to defend their “inalienable rights” against any power, including the government itself, should the need arise.

 

— Gregg Rocheford

 

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