- Posted January 9, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun control debate: Background checks
to Dianna Feinstein- Keep pushing for the right thing
Dear Ms. Feinstein
I am a Canadian who lives close to the U.S. border in the province of Saskatchewan, which essentially I would live close to Montana and North Dakota. I am writing you this letter due to the fact that you have introduced a new bill that would basically ban assault weapons and magazine clips that carry more than 10 rounds; now as much as I support the second amendment, I believe this bill is something that is much needed to try and curve gun violence in the U.S. These sorts of guns that are mainly used by military personal should not be used by civilians as they don’t serve any practical purpose for the everyday life, and they are very dangerous if they fall into someone who is mentally unstable.
I personally find the whole issue of these guns relating to the second amendment to be quite troubling; back when the original constitution was signed by the founding fathers, both the military and civilians have one sort of weapons, muskets that basically take half a minute to reload. The second amendment 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.” What these pro-gun advocates don’t understand in my personal opinion is two major things: First, the definition of well-regulated militia; it implies that there was some form of regulation back then to make sure that they didn’t have any problems, yet today’s gun nuts like the NRA are trying to advocate no regulation on gun ownership and have everybody have a gun, even bad guys. I am aware about the Colombia v. Heller ruling SCOTUS declared back in 2008, but I have some serious qualms about that ruling. They’re definition of 'well-regulated' implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training, it can’t work when you have to factor in the issue of mental health. It won’t matter how self-disciplined you are or how much training you put into it, if you have mental illness and your mind snaps, you’ll lose all matter of self-discipline.
Secondly, the original intent of the constitution was about local militias keeping check on a federal military establishment; as Yale professor Akhil Reed-Amar explains in an article he did on the Washington Post with Ezra Klein. “Originally, the Second Amendment is very much about local militias keeping check on a federal military establishment. It’s about Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill. It’s a product of the American Revolution. The motto at the founding is when guns are outlawed only the king’s men will have guns.” He went on to explain that “The militia men have become klansmen. The uniforms have come off. In the original, very far corner of the screen, right hand of the page is one black person. Now there are lots of black people. Now there’s a uniformed officer keeping law and order. But as soon as the army goes, these blacks will be vulnerable. They’ll at least need these bayonets in their homes or they’ll be terrorized.” The big issue is that all the views that many pro-gun advocates have taken were formed during the reconstruction era, in which “the reconstruction Republicans don’t love local militias. They believe in Grant’s army. So they recast it. It becomes an individual right. The NRA is founded after the Civil War by a group of ex-Union Army officers. Now the motto goes, when guns are outlawed, only klansmen will have guns. Individual black men had to have guns in their homes because they couldn’t count on the local constabulary. It’s in the text of the Freedman’s Bureau Act of 1866 that we actually see the reinterpretation of the original Second Amendment. It becomes about original rights.”
I do support the second amendment when it comes to handguns, shotguns and hunting rifles, things that normal civilians would likely use every day. But assault weapons that are usually used in times of war, I just don’t understand why people want that when they can get the same sort of protection with the other guns. I do want to wish you the best of luck in getting the bill passed and helping to make America a safer place, because what effects down there is more than likely going to affect cities and towns up here.