Athens Review, Athens, Texas

August 2, 2012

Right to bear arms doesn’t mean battleships or oozies

Art Lawler

Athens — Just so we don’t move away from the Colorado shootings too quickly, here’s a letter, at least part of a letter, from a Palestine reader who wonders how many have actually read the second amendment to our Constitution.

I wish we had room for more of his thoughts here, but I would like to pass along a couple of Charles Tidmore’s thoughts about reading the U.S. Constitution selectively.

On the subject of assault weapons and their usefulness, he had this to say:

“It would be a catastrophic mistake to stand against an oppressive government with a mere “assault-style” weapon. It would be useless against armored vehicles or attack helicopters. Those would be the weapons used against an oppressive government.

“These assault-style weapons are used against an unarmed, or ill-armed civilian populace.”

You know – unarmed people going to the picture show and eating popcorn with their soon-to-be-dead children. But back to Tidmore’s letter:

“It is imperative for the sake of this country’s moral compass that the evil of these killing machines is taken off the streets, and out of the hands of those bent on murder and mayhem.

“The NRA, its affiliates, and its well-financed propaganda blitz should be treated with disdain and horror by the common people of this country.”

Well now, there you go, Charles, trying to control murder and mayhem in our free country.

Keep it up, Charles. Maybe some of your neighbors will finally take stock of the situation, and stop listening to the people who make billions on the perpetuation of machines that keep killing American families.

Look, I have no problem, and I  doubt if Charles has a problem with people who want to go hunting in a legal area with legal permits and reasonable limits.

For the last time, I don’t have trouble with sane people doing sane things with firearms.

The bullets just need to stop short of the American heart. I wish I had the answer on how to make that happen.

I just know putting more and more assault weapons out there for crazed individuals to fall in love with isn’t the answer.

People say registered guns won’t, and haven’t stopped such killings, and I tend to agree.  But there’s a percentage thing going on here, too.

The more weapons you put out, the more likely the crazies are going to get hold of one, or a thousand of them.

Tidmore’s letter included the entire second amendment. He says it’s more than a single sentence – that people are not reading far enough down in the U.S. Constitution.

He focuses in on two words at the beginning of that amendment, “well regulated.”

“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.”

That doesn’t mean you get your own battleship to defend your family, or an oozie or a reverse-sewing machine.

He wants gun groupies to focus in on the concept of a well-regulated militia, because he thinks most of you stop short of that.

Such as:

Article II, Section I: The president shall be commander--in-chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states.

OK, so now we understand that barack Obama is the commander of all military forces, including those in “the several states,” including the state of Texas.

Not Glen Beck.

Article 1, Section 8:  To provide for the calling-forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.

(16) To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed  in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the officers, and the training of the militia, according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

You know – the National Guard.

Not the Ku Klux Klan, or one of those Idaho militias. Let’s get real.

Art Lawler is a Staff Writer for the Athens Daily Review.