Wednesday, January 16, 2013

U.S. Constitution - 2nd Amendment

As with the Bible, people pull words and sentences from our Constitution to prove their own points of view.  This has been particularly true recently of the 2nd Amendment. 

As originally drafted the 2nd Amendment reads:  "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."  According to Webster's Dictionary, Militia is defined as "citizen army."  Using the same source Army is defined as "body of soldiers; large amount." 

Now it has been a few years since I studied American History but an army is usually a group of individuals, trained to fight for a common goal.  What a lot of people overlook is the part about A WELL REGULATED MILITIA.  Regulation would imply some sort of oversight to insure that the militia does not act on its own and do something that would endanger the common goal.  There have been military tribunals since the days of the wild west.  This was to insure that the calvary did not exceed its authority.

At some point in time prior to becoming a member of the military, our soldiers, sailors, etc were citizens.  They never lost their citizenship by joining the military.  They merely agreed to protect the United States as a whole as opposed to their own home, city, state only.  They did not become mindless killing machines as the veterans of the Viet Nam war were portrayed.  But they did become highly trained in the use of firearms that the average citizen did not.  This goes back to the wars in Greek and Roman history, when to win you had to insure that your opponent (enemy) suffered more loses than you did.  Any way to accomplish this in a time of war was acceptable.

Today we have people stockpiling AK 47s and AR 15s and high velocity ammunition strictly because they are afraid our Government cannot protect us.  Or they do not trust our Government to do the right thing or that, worst case, our Government would turn the army against us.  First, they have severely impacted the ability of duly sworn law enforcement to obtain the ammunition they need to keep our streets safe.  Second, if you disagree with our present Government, leave.  I am sure Mexico or Canada or South America would be happy to see you with some conditions of course.  Third, do you really think your AK 47 or AR 15 is any defense against a Scud or any other multiple shot warhead?  Fourth, have you really thought this through logically and without listening to the NRA, ACLU or any other special interest group?  Lastly, you proved the point that testing for competence to own and use a firearm should be mandatory not only at the time of sale but on a ongoing basis.

I believe that people, if they chose should have the right to own guns.  I believe that we need to provide the same level of monitoring that we do for people who drive cars to those people.  I also believe that weapons that have the capability of firing multiple rounds of ammunition should not be sold to the general public, rather they should remain for law enforcement and the military.

Monday, January 7, 2013


What does it say about our elected officials when they postpone voting on aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy and continue to scare seniors and disabled individuals who rely on Social Security and Medicare to concentrate on overturning legislation that may actually help the people who need it most?  The attitude of "I've got mine, I don't care about anyone else" seems to be prevalent in both parties.  They make more money than most Americans would ever dream about, have more vacation, sick and other paid time off than other businesses can afford to give their employees and still they are not satisfied and want more sacrifices from the rest of us.  They persist in marching to their own drummers and doing what they want to instead of listening to the people who elected them.  They talk about the governments of other countries and the corruption that saps money from the people but fail to see anything wrong with them taking campaign contributions from special interest groups and then voting on legislation that directly impacts those groups in a favorable manner.  If that is not corruption, then I don't know what is. 

The last time elected officials of either party actually listened to the voters was probably back in the 1950s during the Eisenhower administration.  Different times, you say, yes but politics is politics is still politics and we still elect people in the same manner as then.  Yes our times have changed and yes we fighting different enemies abroad but we still have some of the same problems at home as then.  Hunger, unemployment, discrimination, etc.  Eisenhower established the highway system that we now utilize but no president since has funded the upkeep of these highways sufficiently to keep them from deteriorating to the point of failure.  Instead we wait until they do fail and then spend a lot more money to build something from scratch than if we had funded the maintenance on a regular basis.  Highways are not the only part of our infrastructure that is deteriorating, our electrical grid is woefully inadequate, our sewers and water systems are only slightly better.

Yet we persist in sending money overseas to aid other countries in their time of need and turn a blind eye to the needs of our own people.  The other nations of the world will not come to our aid if we fail.  In fact, some of them would probably be happy to see America fail.  You cannot buy friendship with aid no matter how humanitarian it is.  Congress talks about people on Social Security being free-loaders but what about the nations that we send aid to?  They are not required to pay it back or even to use it for the purpose for which it was intended.  In many cases, it goes to line the pockets of government officials instead of to the people.  Even if we send food or medical supplies, we have no guarantee that they will not be sold on the black market for profit.

While I realize that we live in a global community and must think and act globally to survive, we must also remember that if we fail from within the next hostile takeover will be our government by one of our so called friends.