LETTER: Second Amendment Intended for Self-Defense

By Beacon Staff

A case could be made that the false impression many Americans have in regards to “assault weapons” is the direct result of both the NRA misrepresenting them (beginning in the late ‘80’s through to the present) and not holding educators of U.S. history accountable for incomplete or revisionist history.

When assault weapons were first widely introduced to the general public, NRA representatives held them up and touted them as “sportsmen rifles” for hunting and target shooting. Certainly these firearms are well suited for both, however, neither of these activities are what they were designed for. It’s clearly evident that based on their design as well as their features, the purpose of an assault weapon is for just that; to assault a threat and, if necessary, to kill that threat. It’s as though the NRA was trying to make them more palatable and in doing so they became complicit with the educators who have failed to properly and effectively teach students U.S. history. Both have demonstrated a disgraceful lack of fortitude.

There are numerous historical documents that explicitly state the purpose and intent of the Second Amendment is to bear arms against any government, both foreign and domestic, who would seek to impose a tyrannical rule over American citizens. This was recently confirmed by the Supreme Court in the District of Columbia vs. Heller case saying that this right was, “premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government.” In the Founding Fathers original documents, the “arms” were identified as those of which would constitute the “personal arms” ascribed to an individual soldier. To this end, an assault rifle is currently the firearm that most exemplifies the Second Amendment’s original intent and should be protected above all other firearms. This vital truth is what should be articulated to the American public and before Congress.

Jeff Bailey

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