Letters to the editor

Jan. 24, 2013 @ 05:25 PM

Second Amendment in context

John Hamilton (letter, Jan. 21) suggests that our country's founders wanted every citizen to have the right to bear enough arms to form militias for the purpose of overthrowing a tyrannical government.  He then asks, 'What am I missing?

Summarizing from Garry Wills, the conservative (but not neo-conservative) writer, the context for the Second Amendment is this: Early Americans were very concerned with limiting the power of the government to maintain a standing army.  The Kings of Europe had so misused these forces that they were starting wars just to give the army something to do. 

The Founders’ attempt to prohibit a permanent standing army was met with a non-negotiable demand from the Southern states.  They said, “How will we put down slave rebellions without an army?”  So the compromise is our Second Amendment:  “A Well-Regulated militia being necessary to the security of a state, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed."

Most gun rights folks simply leave out the part about the militia, let alone it's “well-regulation.”   I commend Mr. Hamilton for at least acknowledging that the militia concept is part of the discussion.  And for his openness to learning facts that he didn’t know before.  I would also ask him, and all such folks, who he thinks the Founders would have doing the clearly mandated regulating.  The private sector?  A non-government committee of entrepreneurs?  A ‘Tea Party’ of impassioned individuals?  Whether state or federal, I think they meant the government.

Kelly A. Clark

Durham

Cartoon repugnant

I am not a member of the GOP, but find your editorial cartoon by Monte Wolverton (Jan. 21) repugnant. 

While the GOP may have controversial policy issues that your paper opposes concerning abortion, affirmative action and illegal immigration, stereotyping all its members as racist and misogynistic, is polarizing and immature of The Herald-Sun. 

It is shameful that on  Martin Luther King Day  your paper has sunk to using such a divisive and  malignant  cartoon. 

Ed Weintraub

Chapel Hill