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Letters to the Editor

When guns don't help

John R. Junger III October 3rd, 2012

Please let me weigh in on the debate about the proper use of firearms in our society. Robert Morris’ assertion (Letters, “Guns and freedom,” Aug. 15, Oklahoma Gazette) that retired Lt. Colonel Richard Westmoreland (”How many children must die,” July 25) has not seriously considered the meaning of that oath is a little disrespectful.

I think you would have developed enough wisdom to understand that not everyone thinks that the Second Amendment means what you think it means. It seems ironic to me that Morris seems to imply the Lt. Col. is a traitor and then goes on to glorify other traitors. It is unclear to me what makes which the more virtuous?

As Morris asserts, some of our Founding Fathers implied in documents not related directly to the Constitution that the right to bear arms protects against tyranny, but that’s not exactly what the Second Amendment says, is it?

Secondly, we do not have an unabridged right to bear arms; we as a society accept reasonable limitations on that right. For example, I cannot own an active tank, jet fighter, cruise missile, or chemical, biological or radiological weapons though they, too, are arms.

As Justice Antonin Scalia recently remarked, the Founding Fathers did not want us carrying around frightening weapons at the time of authoring the Constitution, either.

The weapons we do have access to cannot by themselves defeat a first-world industrialized army. So, what exactly makes all species of gun-powder-based small arms sacred? I think the answer to that is “nothing.” I think we can discuss restrictions on such things.

It is unlikely that shots from a small pistol (the type of weapon most people carry concealed) would have been able to penetrate the perpetrator’s body armor in the Aurora, Colo., case. If armed bystanders had had the wherewithal to actually engage the aggressor, it is unlikely that it would have been an effective engagement.

The environment that we live in, where we cannot reasonably discuss what is appropriate for our country in terms of firearms, is ridiculous and poisonous.

We have serious issues in this nation when it comes to firearms. They are more likely to kill someone you love than to kill your imagined perpetrators.

I do not imagine we will ever stop massacres. I do think that we can have a better society if we were allowed to be reasonable people trying to protect and defend the land that we love from our own folly.

—John R. Junger, Oklahoma City

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