Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on guns and America

Common arguments surrounding gun ownership revolve around the Founding Fathers’ intent in the Second Amendment, with it’s call for “A well regulated militia…”

Historically, “the militia” referenced was composed of all able-bodied, free, white, adult, sane males of the community who did not opt out for religious reasons.

The personal weapon required was usually a musket or rifled musket, with appropriate sustaining equipment. Cannons, which were available as crew served weapons, were not identified for individual ownership.

The argument has often been raised that the first dads could not have envisioned the killing capacity of modern individual weapons, so they could not have meant to include them.

In reality, the dads authorized ownership of the most effective personal weapon then known or in use. They did not restrict arms to bow and arrows, swords or pikes, which were less effective weapons of the time. They wanted the most effective killers as a substitute for a standing army. Sort of like what the NRA advocates today.

So the real question now should be, is the collective wisdom of the Founding Fathers inviolate for all time?

Let us remember that the dads also enshrined slavery, indentured servitude, and no voting rights for women in our revered Constitution.

They also had the good sense to provide for amendments that could evolve with changing human reality. Sort of not like the NRA of today.

I am a gun owner, and not a member of the NRA.

Jim Ritchie


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