Proliferation of guns threatens security

This artwork by Paul Tong relates to gun control in the United States.
Paul Tong
This artwork by Paul Tong relates to gun control in the United States.
By Ken Horn, Special to the BDN
Posted Dec. 03, 2009, at 6:06 p.m.

It is a safe bet that discussions revolving around the Second Amendment will continue unabated.

Some people and organizations parse the wording of that amendment from its intent. Our Founding Fathers wanted to make certain that the union would be able to defend itself; hence the wording:

“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.”

The intent is obviously to make certain that the citizens of the state would have the necessary weapons for the defense of the state.

As our democracy has evolved, so has the concept of the citizen militia. Today, those citizen militias bear the names, Army, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, National Guard, etc. We as citizens of the United States bear arms for the defense of the state through these military organizations and this is the manifestation of the intent of

the Second Amendment.

Some people and organizations, by using some words from the Second Amendment rather than hewing to its intent, have managed to foster the idea that everybody is supposed to have a gun. As a result of this, there are countless violent acts, intentional and accidental, committed by people with guns.

Our Founding Fathers used some very potent principles in founding this country. Principles stated even in advance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

As stated in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Consider how many private citizens have been deprived of their rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness as a result of gun violence.

Our Founding Fathers would be devastated to know that their intent to protect the state as put forth in the Second Amendment has been so bastardized that innocent citizens are being killed and maimed and families and lives destroyed as a result of words taken out of context from that amendment.

It is not unreasonable to say that if there were fewer guns available there would be less gun violence. As far as crimes go, have you ever heard of a drive-by stabbing or a child in his home being killed by a ricocheting knife?

Organizations and individuals who fervently cling to the few words they have extracted from the Second Amendment should consider that they are very likely culpable in all gun-related crimes and tragedies.

All guns need not be restricted, but private citizens have no need of military-style weapons or weapons capable of being converted to automatic fire. Likewise, concealable guns have no place in a society that believes in the sanctity of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

The more guns that are out there that are easily attainable either legally or illegally, the more gun violence there will be. This situation is counter to fostering a safe society.

There need to be fewer guns, and the access to guns needs to be restricted.

We, as a society, need to come to grips with the idea that unfettered access to guns by private citizens is not in the best interest of our personal or national safety. Our safety and security and well-being in the pursuit of our right of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are threatened by the proliferation of guns. This is contrary to the principles upon which this union is founded.

Ken Horn of Hermon is a Vietnam veteran, retired commercial pilot and former organic farmer.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/12/03/opinion/proliferation-of-guns-threatens-security/ printed on September 17, 2014