To the Editor:
Our Constitution was founded on a system of checks and balances that ensured that the rights of the people and the states were protected from a possible overbearing federal government.
One of the greatest checks put in place to protect the people from government tyranny is the Second Amendment. The purpose of the Second Amendment was not to protect the people’s rights to own hunting firearms or even for simple self-defense. Its original intent was to ensure that the people in the form of a nonstanding militia (the National Guard and federal armed services are considered a standing militia or army) would always have access to the firearms necessary to protect other civilians from federal governmental tyranny.
At the time of its writing, nearly every household had either a Brown Bess musket or a Kentucky rifle, which were the most modern firearms of the time. To say that the people cannot have access to the same small arms, albeit with some restrictions, such as age and mental health, as our standing military establishments leads us down the path to tyranny.
The only way to properly address the recent gun violence is to address the mental health system and the culture of violence that is so prevalent in the games that today’s children play, as there are enough gun laws on the books that need to be more strictly enforced. The Second Amendment is a protection for all our freedoms, those that are enumerated in the Constitution and those that we have simply by being alive.