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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Initiative 594 gathers signatures

Second Amendment is outdated

Initiative 594 has made me think about the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association (NRA), which may be unmatched in fervor, focus and funding. [“Some signature-gatherers play both sides of gun campaign,” NW Thursday, Aug. 15.]

Why did the Second Amendment come into existence?

The Constitution sought first to deal with a debt crisis resulting from the Revolution. The Continental Congress borrowed a lot of money to pay for the war. There was no standing army. Washington won the war, but he had to depend on armed civilian militias and borrowed money.

The Continental Congress denied Washington’s pleas for an army. Sam Adams believed that a permanent standing army was “forever dangerous to civil liberties.”

Many founders agreed with Adams, and they penned the Second Amendment into the Constitution, ensuring that citizens, not a permanent standing army, would bear arms.

Today, the U.S. has the largest army ever assembled. It also has a militia — the National Guard. The Second Amendment is now as anachronistic as those laws that permitted slavery. Both are national embarrassments.

The Second Amendment has succeeded in making the worship of guns a form of idolatry. Guns are not gods. They are tools designed to turn animals into carcasses and human beings in corpses, and it is time to become more selective about who we allow to buy them.

C.F. Baumgartner, Mercer Island

0 Comments | More in Gun control, Politics | Topics: gun control, guns, initiative 594

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