To the Editor:
In the aftermath of the tragedy in Newtown, Ct., and the wanton murders of firefighters in Webster, N.Y. emotions run high. Americans tired of violence may wish to rush through gun control bills. Others think an emotional reaction, fueled by fear will threaten cherished freedoms. All agree limiting gun use by felons, the mentally incompetent, and children is essential.
The Founding Fathers considered the right to bear arms a natural or a God given right. The Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear firearms for lawful purposes. In the American experience this included a right to self defense, law enforcement, repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection and preventing tyrannical government. The Second Amendment ensures our ability to protect our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
In the current emotionally charged political environment, legislators and citizens would be wise to consider the implications of any new fire arms laws and remember the Supreme Court overturned ill considered firearms statutes in Chicago and Washington, D.C. due to the right to self defense.
James Madison wrote; “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed- unlike citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust people with arms.”
George Washington observed: “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance, they are the people’s liberty teeth.”
I hope citizens carefully consider the Founding Fathers’ perspective and heed the voices of America’s architects of freedom. Any gun control legislation should be crafted with care.
Philip W. Chapman