LETTERS

Let's not surrender 'our rights' in the name of fear

Posted

To the Editor:

Anti-gun hysteria is sweeping the progressive left, the media and letters to the editor.

On Gene Valicenti’s radio talk show Governor Raimondo claimed military-style weapons are used in all mass shootings. Fact: FBI statistics show that since 1998 handguns have been used in 56 percent of mass shootings. Shotguns have been used in others meaning far less than half of mass shootings involve “assault rifles.”

Raimondo scolded House Speaker Mattiello and Senate President Ruggerio for not passing her gun control agenda. Yet The Providence Journal reported on August 6 that “Rhode Island has the fourth-lowest gun death rate…in part due to [its] strong gun laws”

Four Gatehouse Media reporters in that newspaper claim 22 mass shootings so far in 2019. A bar chart from AP accompanying the article says the number is 18. A Fox News reporter on the day after the El Paso shooting said it is 6. In a Westwood One interview Kris Brown of the anti-gun Brady United organization claimed there have been 260 mass shootings so far this year. Can anyone in the media get their facts straight?

The Dayton police chief said the shooter fired 41 times killing 9 and injuring 27. Forty-one shots and 36 hits in 30 seconds before police say they killed him. This is incredible! The chief said the responding officers fired 50 shots to kill the lone shooter. Has any reporter asked how many of the victims were hit by “friendly fire”? Will that information be released?

The president says he favors so-called “Red Flag” laws that 17 states including Rhode Island have passed. Harvard law professor Alan Dersowitz said these laws are “a dangerous precedent.” Why? Because a person who someone accuses of maybe doing something wrong at some point in the future can be stripped of their Constitutional rights indefinitely.

In this state the police go before a judge and merely allege someone may be a threat to themselves or the community. Neither the accused nor the accuser is present. What judge is going to take the chance that the allegation may be valid?

The police seize the firearms from the supposed threat and haul them away to be stored where?

As painful as it may be to some citizens’ psyche, this is not the way due process and our system of justice is supposed to work. Some of us want to live in a riskless society and are willing to surrender their rights.

In a recent Rhode Island Catholic Fr. John A. Kiley contrasts the American and French Revolutions that were only ten years apart. He writes “The American revolutionaries understood that the rights for which they were fighting came from God. Human rights are Creator endowed. The French were convinced that their rights came not from God but from the nation – la patrie. French rights were a matter of legislation. And what the nation can confer, the nation can just as easily defer.”

Those God-given and inalienable rights include the right to self-defense imbedded in the Second Amendment and the right to due process guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Richard J. August

North Kingstown

Comments

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2A

I would like to add that the Second Amendment was designed to place limits on the GOVERNMENT, not this nation's citizens! It was to prevent tyranny, and out of control leaders. Keep that in mind when your paid politicians who are protected by walls, barriers and 24/7 armed security are attempting to curb your inalienable rights.

Thursday, August 15
John

As usual, Mr. August brings facts to the table. Ever notice that anti-gun pols never wish to openly debate this issue? There's a reason. Much easier, though intellectually lazy, to pander with hyperbole. All in the name of "doing something".

Friday, August 16
davebarry

No one is commenting on the fact that the citizens were given the 2nd amendment to keep their GOVERNMENT in check. Now the government wants to keep the citizens in check. WE the people reserve the right to force the government from tyranny, if it comes to that. We cannot do that with single shot weapons. For those of you who say citizens cannot fight the US military, should the government someday get out of control, I say you do not know our military and you do not know your world history. Our own government was founded by a group of patriots who raised a rag tag army and defeated the greatest army and navy the world had ever seen. General Greene perfected the type of warfare a 'lesser' force could use to defeat a huge, well supplied army. We have been fighting rag tag insurgents in Afghanistan for 17 years and have not defeated the Taliban, even though our military is now the best the world has ever seen. The VC and NVA in Vietnam held off our superior military for almost as long. The Christo Reys in Mexico brought the anti-Catholic government to its knees and the negotiating table with a small army of peasants, poorly armed and poorly trained, although they found their George Washington. There are many more examples throughout history. The 2nd amendment is not about hunting, sport shooting, or hobbies. Ask the folks in Hong Kong how things are going. When the Chinese send in troops, the protesters will be killed, just as in Tienanmen square. Ask the folks starving in Venezuela how things are going. Only the government as arms. The people are largely unarmed. The founders gave us the power over government. Anyone who knows history knows that. Anyone talking of disarming us is against the constitution.

Friday, August 16
Cat

When the second amendment was written it was only about single firing weapons. It never included automatic or semiautomatic rifles. If you are going to call upon a constitutional right, let's at least be clear on what its interpretation was when written. I support your right to bear arms and carry a handgun. I don't support the right to have anyone allowed to purchase and own a gun that can shoot multiple rounds of ammunition in mere seconds and are currently being used to kill as many people as possible by certain individuals. That was never part of the second amendment. I know my opinion is unpopular on this page but I still stand behind it. Young, white males are using these weapons to kill innocent people at alarming rates. That needs to stop.

Wednesday, August 21
davebarry

Cat, when the second amendment was written, the average man could have the same weapon as the average soldier. There is nothing wrong with a semi-auto rifle that can fire quickly. What has changed is our fellow citizens. The fact that some lonely losers are using weapons that 'look' like military weapons is not the fault of the overwhelmingly law abiding citizens who possess similar weapons. As for the constitution and when it was written....the other rights acknowledged under the bill of rights still work today: freedom of speech; the press; the right to be free from warrantless searches, etc. The founders were very smart, visionary men. They could not forsee fully automatic weapons and nukes but they would not have rejected the average citizen from having semi-auto rifles. They knew why they wrote the 2nd amendment. The fact that you 'agree' that I can have a handgun gives me no solace. It makes me afraid that ignorant people have opinions about my inalienable rights.

Thursday, August 22
Johnny Tsunami

what's the purpose of automatic, high capacity rifles? Eliminating enemy personnel. They have no other use.

Thursday, August 22
Cat

@davebarry,

I don't consider myself to be ignorant. I understand inalienable rights and the constitution. If only it were just "some lonely losers". It's not though and it is something that must be dealt with so that we don't continue to have innocent people die at the hands of someone that should not be owning a gun in the first place.

I don't think the "visionary men" envisioned this world davebarry.

Friday, August 23
KimLorene

Cat, name one mass shooting that was committed by someone who was NOT a lonely loser. I believe that DaveBarry's description of 'lonely loser' is spot on for every mass shooter. I'll go even further....Law abiding citizens should not be punished for the acts of 'deranged, mentally unstable lonely losers'.

Monday, August 26
Cat2222

KimLorene - You can use the same argument for both sides. Not every "lonely loser" picks up a gun and shoots innocent people. So how do you tell the difference between the two when they are both applying for a gun permit?

Wednesday, August 28
davebarry

Cat,

You apparently do NOT understand the definition of 'inalienable'. It is not something that man can take away. It is not given by man. The argument that the founders could not have envisioned everything to come along in technology is just dumb. The constitution is as applicable today as it ever was. And, they were smart enough to put in a method of changing it. It is not easy, nor should it be. No, the irrational fear of weapons would strike the founders as mad. I don't worry about active shooters because I have a weapon.

Wednesday, August 28