There is a debate going on (again) in this country due to the massacre out at VA Tech. Of course, the pathetic piece of human debris who purportrated this act should be relegated to the lowest order of scum, but what is incredible to me is when otherwise intelligent and thoughtful individuals loose their minds in the emotional fray and suggest the following:
“Despite the Montreal sniper killings etc, the murder rate is orders of magnitude less in Canada than in the USA– it should be embarrassing to a civilised country.The fact that in the US, in many areas someone can go to a gun show and walk out with semi-automatic weapons,is a travesty. The Right to Bear Arms was meant for times when the Founders thought that citizen militas were required to keep the British from returning.
Such commentary as, “The Right to Bear Arms was meant for times when the Founders thought that citizen militas were required to keep the British from returning” is simply mind-boggling yet it is instructive as it reveals the profound lack of concious recognition to the founding vision of America.
Now, I don’t pretend to be a seasoned research expert, or professor, in physics but at the same time I am fully capable of understanding that there was/is/are a set of 10 simultaneous, non-linear, differential equations the solution to which make a pretty good explaination of gravity… Whatever the shortcomings of relativity may be, it nontheless provides a fabulous and experimentally proven point of departure for, say, string theory when taken as a complete concept and in its propert context.
My circuitous point here is that at the incessant insistence of Patrick Henry no ratification of The Constitution would be forthcoming without a full Bill of Rights reflecting the unalienable rights of men. The Right of the people to both KEEP and BEAR arms is a two part concept, not a statist notion of merely bearing arms in a collective sense – it is an individual right just as is the right to free speech. It works hand and glove with the premise of the American idea of government subordinate to the individual and, I might add, in preserving those enumerated individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (with the right to property implicit). Just as the details embedded in the mathematics of relativity are inherently complex, the facts of reality when an apple stikes you on the noggin are rather straightforward. Freedom, liberty and the inalienable rights of man are no different.
The Britainic interpretation noted above (which almost always arises in light of mass killings) is a profound misreading and an even more disturbing interpretation of one of the most important individual rights we have as citizens. I would say that it is the equivalent of suggesting Einstein’s theory was based on five, not ten, equations notwithstanding the fact all ten exist. And then to procede debunking relativity because it lacked the other five!
I will not pretend to understand individual personal outrage over the VATech massacre, but the fact remains that people have an irrational belief in this country that the government can protect them – it cannot and never will be capable of making your or my life completely secure, nor should it. Such social mysticism is irrational and dangerous. Of course, if we lived in a totalitarian police state where our every move was controllable and our every thought under scrutiny perhaps we might approach such a standard. But then, mind control has a pretty sorry history afterall does it not?
As for the suggestion that the Founding Fathers thought as is suggested, I submit for contemplation the following words of several notable Founders:
“To disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them…”
-George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380
“…arms…discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. …Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them.”
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
-Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria
“To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught like, especially when young, how to use them…”
-Richard Henry Lee writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic
“The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”
-Samuel Adams, debates & Proceedings in the convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87