Inadequate wording fuels weapons debate
To the editor:
Our country continues to disagree about guns. It should be obvious to everyone that something needs to be done when we continue to have mass killings of children and adults.
The problem seems to be the Second Amendment! It says: "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." It was passed by Congress on Sept. 25, 1789, and ratified on Dec. 15, 1791. At that time, there were no police departments so the nation depended on individuals to keep the people safe.
In an essay taken from the book "Six Amendments: How and why we should change the Constitution," written by John Paul Stevens, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010, Stevens says there should have been one addition to the Second Amendment as follows: A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, while serving in the militia, shall not be infringed."
The first American police force was started in Boston in 1838, followed by New York City in 1845 and Albany, N.Y., and Chicago in 1851. By 1880, all major U.S. cities had a police force. A militia is no longer needed!
I think most people would agree that the government is not trying to take away our guns for target shooting, hunting or defending our homes, and I cannot believe that the fathers of our country and the writers of our Constitution would ever imagine that we would need to have assault weapons in our homes.
If one cannot wait a few days to be checked out before receiving a license, I, for one, would wonder about their urgency! We would all feel relieved that only those who meet the criteria will be able to purchase weapons.
Patricia A. Burno, Pittsfield