1st January 2013
I am writing to you in response to your open letter to Senator Rubio that was posted on the Conservative Outpost website.
As an Englishman, I do not presume to be familiar with your politics or systems, however I'd like to maker a few suggestions and observations in response to your letter.
Firstly and foremost, the Second amendment says a little more than The right to bare arms.
For the benefit of other readers please allow me to quote the text;
A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The historical context is buried in an older document, the English constitution which was written in reaction to a period of state oppression by James II. It was felt that the protestant populace should be ready to fight for their freedom and be ready to mobilise against an invasion from the Catholic continent.
|The Redcoats are certainly not coming|
Your fore-fathers also had many other problems to deal with. Law enforcement was limited and everyone had to defend themselves and community. There was also a threat on the frontiers from Native Raiding parties and the possibility of a British incursion from Canada. Communities would need to be mobilised quickly.
Times have indeed changed.
After the massacre of Wounded Knee in 1890 there has been no threat from the native population. There is a police system, federal, state and city based, in place to deal with crime, Britain no longer has an Empire nor designs on marching south and the United States military exists for your defence and the National guard representing the militia somewhat loosely.
Also weapons have evolved. The weapon the Founding fathers had in mind were flint lock muskets like the English "Brown Bess" which in the hands of an expert (A British Grenadier guard, the World's best in the 1770s) could be discharged three times in a minute. In the hands of a novice it could manage one shot maybe two.
Today's semi-automatic weapons can fire many times that. Even in the hands of a novice who no longer has to contend with complicated reloading procedure. Careful aim at a target can be replaced with spray fire which, in an enclosed space like a cinema or school room can cause many casualties by sheer amount of fire.
I suppose our middle ground would be that Semi-automatic weapons should only be issued to people who know how to use them and kept secured where any Tom, Dick or Harry could not reach them. However as a former service man I'm sure you will have seen perfectly sane, well trained men crack under pressure. Who is to say that someone who is well adjusted and knows how to use such weapons may not snap and go on a killing rampage with a semi-automatic one day. After all Timothy McVeigh was considered safe and had served his country in the military. Private William Jones RA who had served at Rorke's and received this country's highest honour also became unstable with Post traumatic stress syndrome but it was kept hushed with in the family until his suicide.
There are countless people with Mental illness that spans from paranoid Schizophrenia to depression, most are not reported. If such a move was to become mandatory you would be impinging upon their civil liberties. Who's liberty is more important? Would they have to carry identification papers, make themselves known to communities all because they have an illness?
With the US military and the Law enforcement agencies carrying the most up to date weaponry would it not be prudent to leave those weapons in the hands of an expert and have civilian grade weapons for home use? Then you would have your Arms and defend yourselves but it would also make communities safer as someone armed with a 9mm pistol can be disarmed quicker by an unarmed person than someone with an M-16 or Uzi. I would also consider a hand gun, rifle or shotgun more than adequate to defend yourself against a;
a deranged lunatic created by their secular progressive humanist agenda to take my only defense against their miscreant bastard offspring
After all, it only takes one bullet to kill or seriously wound.
As I say, I'm an Englishman with a centrist political standpoint but you must be aware that the whole world is watching and judging. The USA sets itself up as a paragon of freedom and democracy but is being seen as a place where children can be murdered at anytime in their schools, where cinema goers can be mowed down in their very seats, where street corners are just not safe. This is what your liberty to bear arms has bought sir, for the freedoms and liberties of the many you should cede the right to bear Semi-automatic weapons.
Ps. You may be interested to read my other work on the subject here.