The Salem News
---- — To the editor:
In the aftermath of the bloodthirsty slaughter of those 20 first-grade children and of the six teachers and other staff valiantly trying to save their students, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, the time has come for much stricter gun control, both here in Massachusetts and across the country.
So many people insist upon the “right” of every American to own firearms, despite the reporting of their daily use in crimes nationwide, and even after another atrocity such as this. Incessantly, the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is cited as the basis of this “right.” However, by carefully reading this amendment, we should understand that it has become invalid. This should be obvious from its first sentence:
Second Amendment: Right to Keep and Bear Arms: “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.”
Roughly 20 years after this amendment was ratified in 1791, its first sentence lost its validity when the United States was able to rely upon its organized armed services of the Army and Navy to defend it in the War of 1812. Those armed forces have been maintained and employed ever since, currently in Afghanistan. There has never again been any necessity for a well-regulated militia to defend the country.
As President Obama said in his emotional comments on this event, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” Immediately, strong, thorough national gun control is the only such action which we can and must take to significantly increase the safety of so many people across the country.
Edward P. McMorrow