A Nov. 21 letter asked us to “Read the entire Second Amendment.” The letter stated, “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.”
The words before the first comma signify the declaration of purpose portion of the Second Amendment. It preserves and guarantees an individual right for a collective purpose. The Second Amendment was put in place so that the government would be afraid of the people, and not the other way around.
The writer further points out that we should consider that advances in weapons technology could not be fully foreseen by the Founding Fathers. I hereby promise that if they come to take my freedom away using muskets, I will fight back using only a musket.
James Laurita, Commack
A reader wrote that the founders intended that only a militia should bear arms, and more gun restrictions are appropriate.
If we were to read the writings of the founders — which judges do to determine the intent of laws — we would learn that the militia was composed of farmers, blacksmiths, lawyers and other citizens who were expected to be armed. There was no standing army, so an armed citizenry was all they had.
One would also learn that the founders were justifiably distrustful of a powerful federal government, and they saw an armed citizenry to be important as a defense against rulers who might abuse their position.
The letter writer further concludes that the founders couldn’t have conceived of the technological advances that have led to the more destructive weapons of today. The musket was the state-of-the-art war weapon of the day, more accurate and deadly than any before it, yet citizens were allowed and often urged to own it.
Michael Cisek, East Islip
My wife and I just returned from a trip to Cuba, where citizens are not permitted to own, possess or carry firearms, and this law is strictly enforced.
We felt safe walking the streets of Havana.
In a country less than 100 miles from the United States, no guns truly does equate to fewer murders and deadly assaults. Just saying.
Gary Anderson, Smithtown