Repeal Second Amendment
All the men who fought the British during the battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775 were colonial militia. A standing army was created in 1776 to help Gen. George Washington sustain the Revolutionary War, but the militia, ordinary citizens armed with their own personal weapons, made up the bulk of American resistance to English tyranny.
The Continental Army was dissolved after the revolution, but the need for a militia was clearly demonstrated. When James Madison initially composed the Bill of Rights in 1789, he concisely affirmed the crucial role of the militia. The Second Amendment reads: “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.”
Now, in 2018, in the wake of the recent school shooting in Florida, the meaning and intent of this amendment has become much more ambiguous.
When people refer to the Second Amendment in defense of gun rights, most refer only to the main clause: “the right of the people … shall not be infringed.” But what about the introductory modifier (“A well regulated Militia …”)? Doesn’t this qualify or limit the meaning of the main clause?
In the context of the 21st century, an armed militia is no longer “necessary” to secure our freedom. Instead, we have “standing army,” sworn to uphold and protect our constitutional rights. We no longer need “to keep and bear arms.”
History has rendered the Second Amendment irrelevant; it should be immediately repealed.
William J. Murphy
Resist Rockland harbor plans
In Rockland, many of us are fighting Yachting Solutions’ radical plan to remake the harbor for their own benefit. This company caters to the rich, running a private, gated pier, sometimes docking mega-yachts carrying helicopters. Their expansion plan requires the obliteration of a public channel, the relocation of 54 or more moorings, and transforms the landscape of our harbor.
We are in a time of tremendous wealth inequality. It is maddening that the federal government awarded more than $1 million to Yachting Solutions, when we have a thriving publicly-accessible working waterfront in need of major resources.
Rockland should resist Yachting Solutions’ plan to turn us into a yachting paradise. Instead, we should be expanding financially accessible public use of the harbor — for fishing, ethical seaweed catch, boats, swimming. We should be aggressively pursuing grants so that our harbor can have the resources it needs.
It is worrisome that Yachting Solutions and the company it leases from may be using public access of a beloved harbor walkway as a bargaining chip. The city needs to secure no-strings-attached public access to the boardwalk — in perpetuity.
We can’t rely on the supposed benevolence of profit-driven companies. Even if you like and trust their current owners, you never know who the next may be. For instance, Yachting Solutions’ is financed through different entities throughout the country.
Rockland must not let itself be bullied by corporations, especially not when its very harbor is at stake — what many consider their favorite thing about the city.
Becca Shaw Glaser
More guns won’t make us safe
I thought I had heard it all, but Wayne LaPierre’s desperately surreal assertion that God bestowed upon Americans the right to buy and keep weapons of war stretches credulity, even for the NRA. I had been under the impression that a fundamental tenet of religion is the belief in a peaceful and loving God. Yet according to LaPierre, not only does God want us all to be armed to the teeth, but also to be ready to kill each other at a moment’s notice. So much for antiquated religious notions of peace, love and forgiveness.
While the NRA stoops to publicly attacking the bereaved victims of the most recent horrific school shooting, LaPierre and President Donald Trump advocate turning our nation’s schools into armed fortresses in which teachers and students are encouraged to carry concealed firearms and shoot first, then ask questions later.
The belief that an armed teacher could have stopped the Florida bloodbath and saved the day is promoted by delusional people who have watched too many Hollywood blockbusters. In reality, the profusion of firearms in our country ensures only we are all less safe and that gun manufacturers get richer.
Trump touts the importance of the Second Amendment, but what about the basic right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? Should the right of a deranged teenager to buy a weapon of war trump the right of 17 innocents to life itself?
Make America proud again
Every day there is a new scandal rocking the White House, from domestic abuse accusations in a staff lacking security clearances to paying hush money to a porn star over an alleged affair with Donald Trump. President Trump calls everything “fake news” that is critical of him; he calls the Russian interference a hoax and attacks the FBI. Trump follows the same strategy that Vladimir Putin, Roy Moore and his staff use — just deny and then it isn’t so.
He lies, distorts the truth and uses disparaging remarks toward minorities and immigrants. He condoned and encouraged violence in his rallies. Meanwhile, Congress appears immune to his immature behavior of bullying, name-calling and outlandish tweets. I realize he has freedom of speech, but is this what we want as a model for our children?
Our country used to be a hallmark for democracy and respected the world over. Now the very life of our democracy is threatened by Russia meddling with our elections. Instead of defending himself on Twitter, Trump should be toughening the sanctions on Russia.
I fear we are becoming immune to the reality show occurring at the White House. Let’s not become complacent and accept this as the new norm of governing. Become knowledgeable of candidates, get involved and, above all, get out and vote during the June primaries and the 2018 midterm elections. Let’s make America proud again.