, Salem, MA

January 7, 2013

Letter: Founding Fathers knew value of Second Amendment

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Marc Delaney’s Dec. 27 letter to the editor titled “Time to repeal the Second Amendment” proposes that “... the Second Amendment right to bear arms — can and should be repealed.”

Based on the below quotes from the founders of our constitutional republic, doing so would be surrendering the right of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves from the forces of evil who will ALWAYS be armed, no matter what the law is.

Thomas Jefferson: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined or determined to commit crimes. Such laws only make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assassins; they serve to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” (1764 letter and speech from Jefferson quoting with approval an essay by Cesare Beccari);

John Adams: “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self-defense.” (A defense of the Constitution of the U.S.);

Samuel Adams: “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” (Convention of the Commonwealth of Mass., 86-87, date still being sought);

George Washington: “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people’s liberty teeth (and) keystone ... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable ... more than 99 percent of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour.” (Address to first session of Congress);

George Washington: “A free people ought to be armed.” (Jan. 14, 1790, Boston Independent Chronicle);

George Mason: “To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them.” (3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

Mark Kolnsberg