, Salem, MA

January 22, 2013

Letter: Gun controls will protect citizens' rights

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

I must respond to Anthony Mirabito’s “My View” opinion piece in the Jan. 17 edition of The Salem News, titled “Gun controls will strip citizens of their rights.”

The hyperbole and hysteria of Mr. Mirabito’s opinion piece are indicative of his emotional feelings that the author is free to express. However, the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1540) is an annual appropriation(s) for the Department of Defense for each fiscal year, and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution allows our government “of the people, by the people and for the people” to issue warrants upon probable cause. The writer, while describing his emotional interpretation of the above in his first few paragraphs, does not cite any supporting legal opinions or documents to back up his claim of presidential or military overreach.

He has claimed that “legislators are openly seeking the seizure of arms from legally licensed gun owners.” I would like to know his sources; where did he read or hear this misinformation?

We currently do not have many statistics on gun murders or gun violence; there has never been a clearinghouse of information on gun violence due to pressure from the National Rifle Association. This situation has been remedied as of Jan. 16, when President Obama gave the task to the Centers for Disease Control; it will conduct basic research on the pandemic of gun murders and gun violence in all its forms. We can expect to see statistics that will be truly shocking — especially the toll on our health care system brought about by gun violence.

Mr. Mirabito advocates that armed citizens should revolt; private citizens who take up arms against our democratic form of government are actually taking up arms against all of us. We are the government — and every two and four years, we express our wishes in the voting booth by practicing democracy. We are part of the checks and balances that serve to keep the government “for the people, of the people and by the people.” Those who advocate armed insurrection against our democracy are gunning for us. True patriots vote, they work hard for 100 percent voter participation, and they agree to accept the will of the people at the ballot box, not the bullet box, when things don’t go their way.

The use of the word “treason,” as was applied by Mr. Mirabito to our president, is certainly incendiary and is used for heightened effect; there is no constitutional right for civilians to have weapons of mass destruction such as tactical/assault weapons or rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

Thank goodness for people like state Rep. David Linsky and others who are taking steps to ban future sales of these military-type weapons; require mental health and other qualifying evaluations; ban high-capacity, military-style ammo magazines, except in supervised gun ranges only; and to also require liability insurance for those who have guns in their home or carry guns on their person. These are all good regulations that will work to protect our American right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Finally, there is no constitutional legacy of armed citizens attacking their own democratically elected government. We have laws against armed rebellion; there are no citizen rights for armed insurrection by unhappy citizens against their democratically elected government.

Darcy Dale

South Hamilton