Saturday, August 9, 2008

Re: Berwyn Heights mayor denounces police tactics

NYC, Beginning with the fact that you live in New York City and I live in rural San Jacinto . . . You wrote, “I wonder whether we should allow people – those people who don’t care about their walls and furniture to deploy M79 grenade launchers (thumpers) loaded with canister rounds for home defense.”

The Second Amendment, I believe, meant that the common citizen should be entitled to carry the same guns as the "Common Soldier." The Common soldier doesn't carry M79 grenade launcher as far as I know. Back in my day we had BAR's. Browning Automatic Rifles, and both air and water cold machine guns. But the “Common” soldier didn’t carry these weapons. That is, a certain number were issued to battalions and platoons. But the "Common Soldier" carried the good old M1 and nothing else. He might be told to grab the BAR when his squad asked him to and if so he functioned as a member of his squad and not as a common soldier. I don't think that's changed. The M79 was known as the “platoon leader’s artillery.” A platoon is issued more weapons than are issued to the common soldier.

I don't think the "gun control issue" is the distraction you suggest. The right to bear arms is a right that the Centralized Government people, the people who long for the good old days when the duke took good care of his serfs (aka Welfare Statism), want to deconstruct.

First of all, agree that the right to bear arms is a legitimate right; then we can talk about the details. When I was a rifle instructor, I saw many shooters I wouldn't want living next door to me. They kept making serious mistakes. So I would want training. Further, owning a gun isn't an obligation. You don't need to own one if you don't want one. If you can't handle a car, don't drive. If you can't handle a gun, don't get one. I use hollow point ammo, and I would never use a rifle for home defense, but self-defense isn't restricted to home defense, at least not in my opinion, and not I believe as the framers of the Second Amendment intended.

As to crimes of passion and street crime, did you know that in England crimes with knives are way up? Knives are actually more suitable to "passion" than guns, don't you think?

Also, let us remind ourselves where we live. People who live in large, closed-in cities, may want to keep guns that are low powered and won't go through their walls into their neighbor's house. And even in the old days, many town sheriff's made the cattle drovers check there guns before entering the saloon. They could pick them up again when as they left town. But, once again, we aren't talking about a principle here. Our Right to bear Arms is paramount. It doesn't infringe that right if you say, "yes, you have that right, but don't bring your guns into the hospital, or the airport, or the saloon." I don't see a conflict here.

My point of view is probably different from yours. Take the M79 rocket launcher. You probably think it wouldn’t be okay for the ordinary citizen to own one unless the State gave permission. I believe the ordinary citizen is not to be treated that way in the U.S. If suddenly we were inundated by the Mexican Mafia you refer to and they have rocket launchers. We should be able to decide at the local level to get them if we choose to. We shouldn’t have to seek permission from the State.

Lawrence Helm

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