|To the Editor: Different historical view offered on 2nd Amendment|
|Written by William E. Feeman Jr., M.D.|
|Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:36|
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and his name is Bill Davisson. I want to thank him ever so much for giving me a good laugh as an advanced Christmas present. In the spare time that I have, I read history - especially American colonial history. I would not claim to be an expert in this field, but I do know a fair amount about American colonial history.
May I first say that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution states that "a well regulated militia" being essential to an orderly society, Congress shall make no laws abridging the right of the people to bear arms. The arms to which the amendment refers, however, are black powder muskets and pistols. I don't think that the Founding Fathers ever envisioned weapons of mass destruction, such as the AK 47 or AR 15.
I can name a number of armed insurrections in which individuals armed with various weapons fought it out with the government and lost: Bacon's Rebellion (albeit against the British government; Bacon was hanged), the Whiskey Rebellion (put down by no less than George Washington; the western Pennsylvania farmers were killed), the Civil War (you now who won that one), the shoot-out at Ruby Ridge (the shooter died), and the Davidians at Waco (most of whom died in the stand-off with the federal government). I could probably think of a few more cases. My point is that only people with a death wish would take up arms against the U.S. government. You can't show me one successful confrontation between the U.S. government and an armed group of citizens. Hence the thought of having automatic weapons in order to protect yourself against the government is insane - unless you have a death wish.
The last invasion of the USA was in 1812 - unless you count Pancho Villa's incursions/raids about a century ago. The armed forces of the USA repelled those "invasions," not a group of armed citizens. I acknowledge that in the days before we had a professional army, armed citizens fought in minor battles, and I acknowledge that in the Civil War there may have been the occasional skirmish between armed bands, but in the main the professional armed forces do the fighting. And who would ever invade the USA? No one has a big enough army to do the job.
William E. Feeman Jr., M.D.
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