Gun control and the right to self defense

To the Editor: The multiple murders at Sandy Hook Elementary and Webster, N.Y. argue for our right to self defense. The Second Amendment right remains an essential component of a free society. We find arguments for self defense from ancient times. Cato ‘The Younger’ wrote: “It is the maxim of the law that whatever we do in the way for the ends of self defense we lawfully do.” Later, Blackstone, commentator on English law wrote in 1765: “Self defense is justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be taken away by the laws of society.” Recent events in San Antonio, Texas on Dec. 17, may prove Cato’s and Blackstone’s point. Off duty police sergeant Lisa Castallano heard gun shots at a movie theater at a midnight showing of ‘The Hobbit." She responded immediately and discovered an out of control gunman emerge from a bathroom with pistol drawn. She shot him and probably saved many lives. If you were a rapist entering a home or an armed multiple murderer who would you rather face, one who is armed or defenseless? Nicolai Machiavelli, wrote: ”Among other evils caused by being disarmed it renders you contemptible.” Recently our Supreme Court overturned ill-considered gun control laws in Washington D.C.; (District of Columbia vs. Heller, 2008) and in Chicago (McDonald vs. Chicago, 2010). The court affirmed Americans' Second Amendment right to self defense.  Any new gun control laws should not be hastily passed but carefully considered. George Washington wrote: “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.” Philip W. Chapman Highland

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