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Voice of the people

Dec. 30, 2012 @ 10:05 PM

2nd Amendment must be preserved

The slaughter of 26 people, including 20 young children, by a deranged gunman at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., was bound to provoke calls for new gun-control legislation. President Obama publicly announced support for new legislation and appointed the vice president to come up with specific proposals. Gun-control advocates lost no time in declaring that Americans must surrender gun rights protected by the 2nd Amendment in order to protect our children against gun violence.

The 2nd Amendment was adopted because of the fear that the federal government would use its power to outlaw private gun ownership. The amendment does not grant gun rights, but forbids any infringement of such rights. To "infringe" is to impair, violate, invalidate, encroach or intrude upon. The amendment bars any interference whatsoever with the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It is clear that the framers of the 2nd amendment viewed the right to keep and bear arms as so essential to our liberty as to be inviolable. Proponents of gun control, buoyed by a wave of emotion related to the recent tragedy, apparently believe that "necessity" justifies overturning the 2nd amendment.

Necessity is the plea for infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. (William Pitt, eighteenth century English Prime Minister). The plea of "necessity" is based on the specious argument that there is no other solution to gun violence; that only by giving up our freedom to keep and bear arms can we prevent gun violence against innocent children.

I do not have the solution for gun violence, but I am convinced that sacrificing the 2nd Amendment is not the answer. Unilateral disarmament has never worked, and an emotional rush to judgment is always a bad idea.

Lawrence L. Pauley

Huntington

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