Many local letters to the editor, many of them a reaction to the Newtown gun massacre, provide evidence of a coordinated campaign of terror directed at advocates of common sense gun regulation. They also point towards a broad-based constitutional miseducation campaign. For example, Nick Donnangelo writes in the Jan 11 Purcellville Gazette:
The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting or target shooting, it is the cornerstone of the system of checks and balances found in the Constitution. In it is the right and even the duty to defend liberty – by all means possible at the ballot box but by force if necessary; not from ducks or deer or from common criminals, but from “uncommon criminals,” armed bureaucrats who abuse their power and usurp economic and political freedom. The Founders saw security in arming people with the same weapons as the military had…
Mr. Donnangelo must not have read the whole thing, including Article III Section. 3.
Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort…”
Threatening violent revolution and redacting the crime of Treason classifies as both terrorism and miseducation does it not? I don’t want to be accused of using hyperbole. I’m not. People don’t appreciate the “education.” Fellow blogger John Flannery, reacting to the letters, called the discourse vulgarity. I think he was too kind.
Gun control got its start because the wrong people, black people, read the constitution, and found a right to bear arms to defend themselves against a tyrannical police state. That is gun control’s history, and the real Ronald Reagan – not the idolized Reagan – is one of gun control’s founding father’s.
John Voigt’s letter demonstrates another misreading.
The Second Amendment is as much a part of our Bill of Rights as the First Amendment. You remember the First, it’s the one that grants us the right to worship the way we choose. But nobody is asking you to have a background check or wait 14 days or pay a fee and get a permit to join the Baptist Church.
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. explained the issue in his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, emphasis mine:
… we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
Our religious convictions are an expression of our personhood, our being. Those beliefs are not subject to government regulation. A weapon, on the other hand, is a thing. Dangerous things should be subject to government regulation, and even when they are, there will inevitably be mishaps. Does anybody disagree? Should we be free to purchase chemical, biological and nuclear arms as Mr. Donnangelo suggests?
My husband postulated that the letter writers may inadvertently (or purposefully) be removing the word “any” from the Fourteenth Amendment and inserting it into the Second. Please review the original and revised versions to the Second and Fourteenth Amendments below. The convention used is:
strikethrough removes content and bold adds content.
Original – what the Constitution says:
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.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Revised – what they’d like the Constitution to say:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, tThe right of the people to keep and bear any Arms, shall not be infringed.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive
anysome persons of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to anysome persons within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Is this not the political programme of the gun lobby and their hard-core supporters? I’m beginning to wonder if the Obama Zombie handout from the 2011 Halloween parade wasn’t an effort by the LCRC’s NRA employee Chairman to sell guns and ammo. The message should be crystal clear. There is a small number of uncompromising radicals at the core of the local Republican political establishment. They work hard to elect their candidates in low turnout election and in return, gain special rights. For example, “Virginia not only repealed a law requiring handgun vendors to submit sales records, but the state also ordered the destruction of all such previous records.” These radicals idolize guns and dehumanize people and will stop at nothing to gobble up power and to rewrite the Constitution if we don’t mobilize an equally hard-working group of citizens to correct the record in the public memory, and to purge the radicals who represent us at all levels of government. The Constitution says what it says, not what they’d like it to say.