, Gloucester, MA

February 20, 2013

Letter: Need is mental health reform, not gun control

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

Sadly, U.S. History is not taught to the same level it once was. As a result, we tend to make some mistakes that our previous generations avoided.

I believe we can all agree that “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it” is just as valid today as it was back in 1905 when originally stated.

The founders of this country worked hard to create the Constitution and Bill of Rights that works well for most. They did not randomly create these documents, but researched past civilizations to determine what worked and didn’t. They relied heavily on such masterpieces as “The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith. They read, argued and critiqued the thinking of the likes of John Locke, Thomas Hooker, Polybius, Cicero, Coke, Montesquieu and Blackstone.

Our founding fathers were successful in putting together the Law of the Land that insured the rights of the individual and the populace as well. They also made provisions to amend the Constitution when needed. As it should be, it is difficult but has been routinely done 33 times.

Because it is not that easy, a rash popular politician cannot easily change the Constitution without the public fully understanding the consequences — or a very emotional situation cannot justify ill thought out actions or laws that ultimately hurt us all. Nevertheless, if enough citizens want to amend the Constitution, our founding fathers were wise enough to incorporate that provision into the Constitution as well. Two thirds of Congress and three quarters of the states have to ratify any changes.

The founding fathers did not make a mistake when they put in the Second Amendment. They were well aware of what power will do to the people in government even when they had good intentions. Absolute power does corrupt absolutely. It is well documented that our founding fathers believed this would hold in check any radicals’ attempt to take away our rights.

They knew this would inhibit any government from seizing power from the people. They definitely understood human nature and I certainly believe they were right. Thank God for their insight.

Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Castro and King George all seized or tried to seize guns in order to control their populaces. When they have gotten the control of the citizens’ guns, they crushed freedom and fostered the most oppressive societies the world has known. Talk to the people who are still alive that lived through this hell.

Despite revisionists attempt to rewrite history, Hitler seized guns in his dominance of Germany and in his conquered countries to minimize resistance to his barbaric murdering of all who offended/resisted him. After Pearl Harbor in World War II, some may even know that Admiral Yamamoto was very hesitant to even consider invading the U.S. because the citizens were well armed.

Let us not attack our fellow citizens who simply want to protect themselves. We know that the perpetrators of these recent mass murders are insane. Let us address the real problem and help these demented souls from hurting others. When a known problem person wants access to guns, it should be challenged by the local police. In nearly all the recent cases, there were warning signs that concerned the neighbors, associates, family members, peers or police.

Developing a practical, effective and yet humane method of separating the potential mass murderer from the public is the only long-term solution. This is what truly would minimize chances of future mass murders — not illegally taking/restricting law abiding citizens’ guns.

If our society does not find a legitimate way to protect us from the dangerously insane, these horrible crimes will happen again and again.