GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 27, 2012

Letter: Constitutional 'militia' and school shootings


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I was on the verge of writing a letter to my paper about the availability of guns to deplore news out of Jacksonville, Fla, where it seems a young man was shot and killed for playing music too loudly.

That follows when it’s reported that 35 gun deaths occur daily and that there are 90 guns for every 100 people in our country. Since 9/11/01, there have been over 150,000 American deaths right here in our land at the hands of non-terrorists. Collectively, we own 300 million guns.

It’s even more cautionary that 58 million of us have some form of mental illness. Emotional instability can lead to violent reactions to what is usually considered ordinary, measured behavior.

Road rage, combined with a gun, can lead to a man being shot in the arm while driving on I-93 on 11/19 outside of Braintree. In Georgia, a 65-year-old woman was shot and killed by a 73-year-old man when her car bumped against his motorized wheelchair in a gas pump bay.

Nothing, however, could compare with the school massacre that occurred Dec. 14. The gunman first killed his mother at their home in Newtown, Conn., then 20 schoolchildren and six adult staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School before his taking his own life. He was described by classmates as a quiet loner who “didn’t fit in.”

What exactly does The Second Amendment say? “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear a rms, shall not be infringed.”

Back in the days when that was written, there were no organized police or armed forces, coast guard, FBI, or CIA. Reliance on citizens being members of militias which were well regulated so they wouldn’t get out of hand, conferred the right to bear Arms.

A journey to the present day, so-called “gun rights’ require regulation just as organizations intended to keep us secure require vigorous oversight.

CYNTHIA FISK

Chapel Street, Gloucester