Letters to the Editor for April 24, 2013

By Baker City Herald readers April 24, 2013 07:57 am

Rebuttal on background checks

I’m writing this because the editor of the Baker City Herald made a grievous mistake in his April 19 column: “Sad, perplexed watching Newtown’s survivors.” After saying he was a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment he goes on to say that the right to keep and bear arms is not sacrosanct. I beg to differ.

A little information first. I’ve been writing to the local papers on the Second Amendment ever since Bill Clinton decided to go duck hunting. You see when a Democrat goes hunting or picks up a firearm you know as a gun owner you are in for it. John Kerry tried to show his love for guns on his wild goose chase and Mr. Obama was recently shown killing clay pigeons at Camp David.

Articles such as my “Bad Moon Rising” might still be posted on The Record- Courier’s website. I wrote this a month or so before Heller vs. Washington, D.C., and predicted that the Supreme Court would try and walk a line between outright gun ownership and legal bans and predicted some kind of ”reasonable restrictions” clause. I nailed it dead on and also predicted that since no restriction right up to total bans is unreasonable to the urban left that the battle would go on.

The left has been pretty good at painting those who truly understand the Second Amendment as some kind of nut cases that just don’t want any infringement on hunting rights. From Piers Morgan and President Obama right down to local papers, the talking points always start with “I understand the Second Amendment and think Americans have the right to defend themselves but …” 

They understand nothing. I wrote an article in The Record-Courier that was published on Christmas Eve 2012. It should be plain, as a grandfather with seven grandchildren, and two more honorary ones, about the ages of the victims of Newtown, that I too don’t want to see any more such tragedies. I just have a different solution printed as “kill the son of a bitch.” In other words defend the kids with real world means rather than a bunch of pie-in-the-sky gun banning, gun registration, loophole closing, lockdown, feel good, do nothing crap. 

Not only do real Second Amendment supporters have solutions just as good as gun banners at “stopping just one senseless slaughter” they also preserve that little thing called freedom that the founders wanted to maintain with the Second Amendment. 

There is no room in this article to list a lot of quotes from those who wrote the Constitution but just one or two to show why we have it. “What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty” Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, 1 Annals of Congress at 750 (Aug. 17, 1789); and “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize , and as military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms” Tench Cox in “remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution under the pseudonym “a Pennsylvanian” in the Federal Gazette, June, 1789.

In an attempt to explain a few history textbooks in a paragraph suffice it to say, that after the revolution that sent the redcoats packing, the United States tried to live under the Articles of Confederation that governed during the Revolution and for a time after. Finally they called a constitutional convention and came up with a new Constitution.

It was by no means assured that it would become law and lots of learned men of the time, including those who served in the armed forces and government during the revolution, sometimes referred to as the founding fathers, wrote their opinions in the newspapers. Many of these are preserved as the Federalist Papers.

In there you find the reason for the Second Amendment, a barrier to tyranny, not guarantee of hunting rights or the right to own a pistol to protect your home but a means to oppose, to overthrow, to do away with, revolt, etc. should this newly created government ever become tyrannical. The keeping of “arms” not muskets in sufficient quantity and quality to ensure freedom was the undisputed reason for putting the Second Amendment into the Bill of Rights.

The biggest danger I see in this whole “debate” is that the media, created and guaranteed in the First Amendment, has done a lousy job of explaining the history and reason for the Second Amendment. To think that something so important would be turned over to the likes of British Piers Morgan, and lefties such as Diane Feinstein, Michael Bloomberg, Michael Moore and Chuck Schumer without ever letting George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Tom Paine, Madison, Adams and other founders, educated products of Enlightenment thinking, have their say is the true tragedy.

We have indeed moved down a slippery slope since the unconstitutional 1934 Federal Firearms Act. Congress at the time could still read the Constitution and didn’t ban fully automatics, just required a stamp, which they tightly controlled. After that states and cities started writing a hodgepodge of gun laws. The assassinations of the 1960s really got the ball rolling and this latest attempt, which was in effect, universal gun registration, did alarm those who truly understand what the Second Amendment is about. A real debate on the issue would include the opinions of the founders on tyranny, standing armies and the right to revolution.

To try and use talking points to turn this sacrosanct amendment into a debate on hunting rights is a travesty. To use the dead children of Sandy Hook as props to change public opinion and make future generations of children vulnerable to what half of the world deals with — namely, dictators — is beyond despicable. We are at a time of crisis. Can the First Amendment function as the founders envisioned and real debate happen or will the Second Amendment become really relevant?

Steve Culley is a Richland resident.