President Barack H. Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing to address the issues of firearms and firearm-related incidents plaguing The United States of America.
I had an epiphany recently; I suddenly saw, in very stark terms, that “assault weapons,” and all that customarily accompanies such weapons (e.g., high-capacity magazines), are protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Further, any typical “squad-level” weapon, such as an M-60 machine gun, LAW rockets, and M-203 40 MM grenade-launchers, also are protected by the Constitution.
Before I go on to explain my support for these assertions, allow me to relate the reason for my epiphany. I saw the political cartoon below:
It’s easy to infer the intent of the artist; To show the stark difference between weapons technology in the latter 18th century, versus the extreme (but deceptive) difference with weapons of the 20th and 21st centuries. It’s true, the difference is dramatic, and should give any sane person pause before they attempt to argue in-favor of personal weapons that can kill so very many people, with precious little effort. It pains me greatly, but I MUST make that argument.
The Second Amendment is NOT there to protect our right to hunt rabbits and deer. It is there to 1), prevent a tyrannical government from disarming it’s citizens, in order to preserve it’s power, and 2), to provide for a Citizen’s Militia capable of effectively defending The United States, in the event of a war on American soil. Now, here comes my epiphany:
- The modern-day equivalent of a single-shot, black-powder rifle IS a weapon like an AR-15 assault rifle.
- Magazine size is irrelevant; A 30-round clip is essentially standard for an assault weapon, even 100 rounds is not excessive, given the context of my argument.
- Additionally, arms that did not exist in 1787, nevertheless, ARE protected by the Constitution, insofar as they are within the standard of a “squad-level” weapon (e.g., a grenade-launcher).
- The only direct Constitutional restrictions on such weapons is limited by a “state-of-the-art” test, i.e., what would citizens be using today, if the Revolution were fought today.
I am greatly self-conscious making this argument to you, Sir, given that Constitutional Law is your expertise. However, I am ex-military. I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. And though my service is over, my commitment to that oath remains.
Having said all this, the critical issue remains: We MUST do whatever we can to prevent the unjust death of even ONE person resulting from a firearm. It is simple to say, but difficult to do, however, what MUST be done is to strongly regulate all aspects of the sale, licensing, ownership, secure storage, and prevention of unqualified person(s) from gaining access to such powerful weapons.
In short, the oft-forgotten “well-regulated militia” portion of the Second Amendment must therefore take the forefront in our battle to never again see buried a parent’s precious child, due to the murderous acts committed by person(s) using firearms.
Preservation of democracy and freedom is often messy business; I hardly need to tell you that, Sir, as I have been paying close attention to the politics of division and obstruction that have plagued you, our states, and our citizens, for years now. However, just as the First Amendment often protects speech and expression of views the vast majority of Americans find abhorrent, so too does the Second Amendment provide very difficult challenges.
So. How do we control firearms in a responsible, Constitutional, way? Well, there is a fairly close analogy between weapons regulation and regulation of automobiles. Many thousands of men, women, and children die each year as the result of automobile accidents. We license, we regulate, we test proficiency, we patrol, yet preventable deaths occur. I submit that a similar regulatory structure would prevent most firearm-related deaths, providing the gravity of the need for control over firearms is recognized, and our regulatory actions are commensurately more stringent and deep.
Honest brokers on all sides of this issue should be heard, but regardless, our hands are tied by a very simple, straight-forward interpretation of our Constitution. A direct line may be drawn from a musket in 1787, to an M-4 in 2013. We cannot ignore this fact.
I thoroughly despise what I have been forced by good conscience to advocate in this letter. I trust, Mr. President, you will push for what’s needed and just in your efforts to never again have a Sandy Hook, or Virginia Tech, or Columbine, tear the heart out of our nation.
Thank you for taking the time to read and consider the points I’ve raised in this difficult matter. I don’t envy you, your task; To strike a balance between differing, passionate views, while the soul of a nation still mourns twenty dead babies…
God Bless You,