2013-01-03 / Letters to the Editor

Guns are to protect us from government, tyranny

I am one of the hundreds – if not thousands – of responsible gun owners living in Jamestown. The recent shootings in Newtown, Conn., were a terrible tragedy, but as always, the liberal media will use anything to their advantage to cut back on our constitutional rights. The Second Amendment is not about hunting. It is about self-defense and the right to protect oneself from tyranny and the government.

Everybody talks about these highcapacity “clips” – any real gun owner will tell you they are called magazines – and assault rifles being the culprit behind these mass shootings. Really, they are not. A firearm is nothing but an inanimate object. It has no feelings, and it does not know good from evil. It is the individual wielding it that causes the crime. Instead of jumping all over these weapons and magazines, why are we not taking time to look into how we are treating our mentally ill? Every single mass shooting has some form of mental illness involved. It isn’t an everyday good kid just losing his mind and going off on a shooting spree. From Columbine to Newtown, the suspects have all shown serious issues well beforehand that were overlooked and not dealt with.

Owning high-capacity magazines makes no difference in terms of these shootings. If a shooter has a 10-round magazine, he will just have to carry more magazines and take three to five seconds to reload. These assault rifles are not militarized weapons at all. They are all semiautomatic – one pull of the trigger, one bullet leaving the barrel – and come in popular calibers also used for hunting. Thousands of farmers and hunters use rifles similar to AR-15s for coyote population control, and in many states it is legal to hunt bigger game such as deer with a rifle in the .223/5.56 caliber. As for AK-47-type rifles, these are semiauto, and the 7.62 round they fire is almost equivalent to the popular .308 that many hunters and target shooters use. These are not the machine guns you see on CNN when they are reporting from the Middle East.

In all, thousands upon thousands of these firearms are owned throughout Rhode Island, and probably hundreds in Jamestown. Owning one does not make you a criminal, but a Patriot. These firearms are everywhere, but few times are they used to commit acts of violence. Congress, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, President Obama and local Sen. Jack Reed need to realize how much the Second Amendment means to us. As my grandpa, a retired U.S. Marine staff sergeant, always told me, “The First Amendment will cease to exist without the second.”

Steven Sparhawk
Dumpling Drive
Jamestown

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