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Jeff Grover, Harwood, N.D., Published January 19 2013

Letter: Unarmed people become sheep to be slaughtered by government

Can we cut away the debris and rhetoric from the discussion of gun control on the right and on the left? Both sides of this issue have politicized the topic because of the Newtown, Conn., shooting. Neither side will be able to compromise because the basic premise of the discussion has been avoided.

The “Second Amendment-ers” demand unfettered access to weapons and want as much firepower as possible. The “Ban the Assault Weapons-ers” would like nothing better than to confiscate every weapon in the world and thereby end the violence and we all hold hands while we march off to sing “Kumbaya.”

Central to the discussion of those who hold to the constitutional position is that they fear government becoming a dictatorship or authoritarian regime that abuses its power to control the population. Two statements in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are at the root of the gun owners’ beliefs. In the Declaration are the lines: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” In the Bill of Rights, it is: “Shall not infringe upon the right to bear arms.” Put those two statements together and you sum up the basis for weapons that the right wants to keep.

Perhaps the most powerful statement on the subject was by George Washington: “A free people ought to not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

There is tension between the two positions in that it is claimed that there is no need for a “militia” and therefore there is no need for civilians to have those kinds of arms. The “militia” that has gone from favor is still needed, by definition, as a group of brave patriots, who, at the time of need, arm themselves, form a militia and stand up to the tyranny of oppression. It is still the same today as when the founders envisioned the continued vigilance of the government by the governed.

What is lost to the gun control crowd is that an unarmed people become sheep to be slaughtered at the government’s whim. Patriots are loyal to a people and a country – not to a government that has lost its mandate or relevance to the people it no longer represents.

Weighing the balance of controlling guns or enforcing the gun laws that are already on the books is what is at stake.

The real problem is the failure of the mental health community to deal with those who commit crimes against the innocent and the unarmed.