February 12, 2016

24° Fair

original

Times have changed

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, January 30, 2013

“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.”

Second Amendment to the Constitution

While ones the cornerstone of the Judeo-Christian faith and the others the foundation of the worlds greatest democracy, the Holy Bible and the Constitution of the United States have much in common: Both contain timeless truths for just living while, of necessity, rooted in the times they were written.

The authors of the Bible, every one of them, lived their lives believing the earth was flat and the world was created in seven days.

Similarly, the framers of the Second Amendment of the Constitution all of whom had muskets or pistols that required reloading after every shot and were almost as dangerous to the shooter as the target had no idea one day men would argue that the phrase right to keep and bear arms included clips holding multiple bullets, assault rifles and machine guns.

The very wording of the amendment speaks of arming a militia, something that no longer exists, having been replaced long ago by a professional army. Like the single-shot musket and the long-held notion the world was flat, militia was a product of the times and the times have changed.

We believe law-abiding citizens have the right to own guns for hunting, trap or target shooting, protecting person or property all of course with proper certification and training. But arguing the right to keep and bear arms includes weapons meant for military personnel in harms way seems to beg the point.

Where does the argument end? Can one say a cannon mounted on the stern of a houseboat qualifies as an acceptable arm under the amendment? How about wing-mounted guns on a Piper Cub aircraft?

Certainly even a single-shot .22-caliber rifle in the hands of a criminal or mentally deranged person can do deadly harm, but allow that person access to an assault rifle or machine gun and you have a recipe for disasters the likes of which weve witnessed far too often in recent months and years.

The argument can rightfully be made these shooters were mentally unstable, and more needs to be done to identify people with traits that might indicate a tendency toward violence. But until theres a way to quantitatively assess mental stability, a better system needs to be put in place to keep assault weapons where they belong with law enforcement officers and the military.

Because, as we now know, the world is round.