The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 28, 2013

Your View: History teaches us not to disarm

Doug Hodge, Montevideo

— “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined,” said Patrick Henry.

Gun control is certainly a topic that provides ample opportunity for debate from both sides of the issue. However, the framers’ original intention for the Second Amendment is often overlooked or deliberately bypassed in the debate for a reason difficult to talk about. No one wishes to contemplate the chief reason for the Second Amendment is the possibility that the people may have to defend themselves against a government that may become brutal, repressive and murderous.

We find it hard to contemplate such a scenario, but the framers did not, because they lived it. A high capacity semiautomatic rifle is not needed for hunting, but may well be needed for defending our communities against government forces that wish to visit severe repression on its own citizens in the future. Weapons like that would then be needed to achieve any kind of parity between citizens and those governmental forces who would wish to do them harm.

Many would look at our government and our way of life and would state that such a need could never arise. The framers included the amendment because they realized the nature of man and that such a horrible predicament could arise. History certainly has its precedents.

We should deal with shootings in our society with proactive imagination, but it is never a good idea to disarm a free people because history has taught us it is a short, quick drop into servitude.