My view: Amendments stand test of time

3:24 PM, Feb. 12, 2013  |  Comments
Ron Race
Ron Race
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Your editorial on questioning why any citizen needs an assault rifle with high-capacity clips misses the mark.

You assume our founding fathers ratified the Second Amendment to guard against government oppression and never imagined the weapons of today. That document has stood the test of time for a reason, as have the other nine amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. We remain free because these amendments remain intact and unaltered.

Citizens back then, as well as now, have a right to protect themselves and their loved ones from any entity that would threaten their safety and freedom. The use of these weapons for personal security, securing food (hunting), recreation (target shooting) or simply to collect them should not have to first be justified before being allowed.

You state a hunter should not need more than 10 bullets to hit his target, thus high-capacity clips and certain rifles should be banned. Should we then go one step further and ban vehicles that go faster than 65 mph because someone intentionally plowed into a crowd watching a parade going 95 mph, killing 15 people and injuring 20 more? Speed limits are 65 mph so there is no need to go faster and the death toll would have been much less had the speed of the vehicle been reduced. I could go on.

We assume that when laws are made for the common good that all citizens will follow them and those that do not will be punished or put away. That will never be as long as society as it is now continues its downward spiral. Things like cheating, lying, stealing are pretty much accepted if you don't get caught. Things like racism, pornography, greed, killing babies (abortion) and murder permeate our society.

Our children sit before video screens and in graphic detail kill their way to victory. The mentally ill and depressed are ignored until they do the unimaginable to others simply because they don't care anymore and life as they know it is not worth living.

In an article that ran on the same day and page as your editorial written by Rebecca D. Costa, she states, "Long before the perpetrators reached for a weapon, they lost their desire to live." With the media's help, they end their lives becoming famous in a sensationalized account of the ongoing tragedy that may last for weeks.

You say in your editorial that, "if someone really wants to do harm, he (or she) will find a way. But why should we make it easy?" The guns are already here. The high-capacity clips are already here. The black market will make sure they will always be here and readily available, or you can just steal them.

You see it doesn't matter if a responsible gun owner has a semi-automatic assault rifle with a 100-round-capacity clip, and it shouldn't matter what his reasons are for having it. The gun, the magazine size and the gun owner is not the problem here. The problem is finding the answer to the question of why any human being would want to kill other innocent, defenseless people he may not even know. It comes down to what is in the mind of that individual whose finger is on that trigger and what can we do to eliminate the impulse that put that finger there. That will reduce these tragedies, but not stop them.

Let's take the inscription on our money, "In God We Trust," to heart. Let's allow him back into our schools and government and society in general instead of trying to make minimize him. Let's fund agencies that deal with mental health, making it easier and affordable to those needing help. Let's allow local school districts the money and latitude they need to secure and protect their students to the level they are comfortable with. Let's expand and fine tune background checks and allow affected agencies to communicate and share information to accurately assess each request.

The most important thing we can do takes no money at all. Let's raise our children to respect and cherish all life and to stand up to those who would destroy and desecrate it.

Ron Race lives in Wisconsin Rapids.

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