Stick with the framers’ intent
So I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to write or how I was going to phrase it, but after contemplating it for some time I realized I shouldn’t have to “sell” the idea of gun ownership, I just need to speak plainly and with as much passion as I could muster within a few paragraphs and this is what I came up with.
Guns have become a major part of Americana and intrinsic to American culture. It is no surprise to most Americans that one can possess and even carry a firearm; what most people want is for all Americans to be safe/sane and though it is a reasonably request, it is something that nature has not quite made right with regards to human nature.
Now I know the tragic Sandy Hook murders were no small event but we as a people must come together: Democrat, Republican, Independent, Conservative, Liberal and Libertarian, to stand up for our rights. We as a people should not make emotional reactions based on fear and read more carefully the Constitution and other documents like the federalist papers to get a more accurate picture of what our framers thought of gun control and it was abundantly clear where they stood on the issue.
Now you may be wondering “what exactly is he referring to?” What I’m referring to is the New York secure ammunition and firearms act, which was passed behind closed doors. Media and public were not allowed to enter and there was not a three-day constitutional grace period for New York citizens to call, write to or petition their government. Surely all people from any and all political ideologies can expect government transparency to the people since we are the ones they serve and not the other way around.
New York was already in the top tier of the most restrictive gun laws and yet crimes relating to guns were higher than other states that have a much easier time of getting firearms than new Yorkers.
Take New Hampshire for instance, they’re a “shall issue” state, which means they give anybody who is a citizen a concealed carry license to those who have a few character witnesses and a clean record. Now what’s even more incredible is that citizens in New Hampshire need no permit at all to openly carry a firearm, no assault rifle bans of any kind, no serious knife laws and recognize many other states CCL (concealed carry license) and yet they are considered one of the safest states in the union and by far the safest on the East Coast.
I want to end this piece on a few notes; first though I am clearly a supporter of gun rights I am more than willing to accept ways to minimize gun violence and my suggestions as far as schools go is to allow the teachers to have firearms to protect our children. As far as general gun safety is concerned I suggest more people in New York become CCL owners so they may protect themselves and not allow politicians to make knee-jerk reactions concerning our rights.
I also want to point out that Sandy Hook is a terrible tragedy and that I in no way downplay the seriousness of this event, but I also want to make it clear that it is also my opinion that you can never legislate evil away. I leave you with the words of states men and the framers of our constitution
“On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322)
“The Constitution shall never be construed … to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms” (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87)
“Congress has no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American … The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people” (Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788).
Frank N. Fernandez is a Dunkirk resident.