Guns change with the times

By MARJORY C. DIEHL

Once upon a time in the 1770s a group of intelligent men decided to write a group of rules for a new country they would call The United States of America. They were not only statesmen, they were also politicians which had a lot to do with the final results of the paper they presented to the Continental Congress for adoption.

They thought the most important issues of the time were freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

The next thing to concern them was the right – and necessity – to bear arms. Without a standing army, civil defense was the work of civilians. Of course everyone was not included. There were certain rules. You must be a freeman (not a woman!) of good character, white, and a landowner.

And what was your choice of weapons? You might own a set of dueling pistols to protect your honor, in case anyone besmirched it. Hamilton and Burr stood on a hill and took potshots at each other and we all know what happened to Hamilton, don’t we? Or you could own a musket to shoot the British who were trying to keep you a loyal citizen of the crown, or a muzzle loader to use against cattle thieves, savage Indians, escaped slaves or the dirty-rotten-snake-in-the-grass who made eyes at your daughter.

They were all single shot! That was what the Constitution was amended to present in the second article in 1791!It was not to protect the people of today who believe they are entitled to the weapons of mass destruction which are now available.

Can’t we realize what a difference exists between then and now? How can anyone cite the Constitution or personal freedom, as an excuse for inhuman, current behavior?

I’ve done a lot of living in my 92 years, and when I was lucky enough to visit other countries, I was proud to say I was an American.

I don’t feel proud now, and neither should those who make possible the slaughter of our children and their mentors.

Marjory C. Diehl is a Brocton resident.