Look at gun control facts

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To The Editor:
In light of the current debate concerning gun control, I would like to make some things clear. The Second Amendment reads as follows: “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.” This guarantees the right for a militia for the common defense, but does not specifically state that individuals have the right to own guns. In 2008 in D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to a militia extends to personal ownership of guns. They did not change the wording of the Second Amendment. They just interpreted it.

They also made the following statements; “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner and for whatever purpose. The court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those ‘in common use at the time finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.’”

Rational thought is a pretty cool thing, but reason is useless without some solid facts to work with. Recently, gun advocate groups have been making statements that are not true. For example; The Second Amendment states that “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This is not true. “The Second Amendment guarantees my right to own an assault rifle.” This is not true. “Guns don’t kill, it is people who kill.” Well actually people use guns to kill. A gun is frequently necessary to kill. I don’t know any hunters who could walk into the woods and kill a deer with their bare hands. “If someone attacks me with an assault rifle, I will need an assault rifle to defend myself.” I understand this to mean that if someone attacks you with an assault rifle, you should pick up an assault rifle and go after them. This would be an extremely dangerous and foolish thing to do. The most obvious example of how this can go wrong is when state trooper Brinkerhoff was shot and killed by another trooper while “defending” Margaretville from a gunman. They were using assault rifles. If someone attacks you like this your best chance is to find some place to hide and call for help. “People need assault rifles to defend themselves from tyrannical government.” The last time that U.S. troops were used against citizens was during the Civil War. There are no civil wars going on now in America.

A little over a month ago, a young man with mental problems picked up an assault rifle, went to an elementary school at Sandy Hook, CT and wiped out an entire first-grade class. Existing laws were not sufficient to keep this from happening. This government is now trying to change the laws so that this cannot happen again. That is what the gun control issue is about.

Given that emotions are running high right now I would like to point out that I have not expressed any opinions in this letter. I have just stated facts. These facts can be verified by independent sources.

Thomas Clark,
Margaretville