Constitutional Arms

Tom Coffin (“The Arms Industry,” EW 2/18) raised some interesting points.

The Declaration of Independence: “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another…” The United States was created by force of arms when the British tried to disarm the colonists for rebellious acts. The rebellion was considered treason by Parliament, traitors hung, and legally commissioned privateer captains treated as common pirates.

The militia system and the right of an individual to own guns arrived with Anglo-Saxons and was never questioned by the founders. Pennsylvania became a center for arms manufacture.

The new Constitution in 1787 created a central government and a standing army with the authority to control the militias. The idea of defenseless states caused alarm. The Second Amendment prevented Congress from disarming the population since citizen militia members used their own guns. The right to own guns was never questioned.

How can a manufacturer be sued for making a product that does what it’s supposed to do? How many people have been murdered with arsenic and cyanide? Why do cars go 100 mph?

The gun fatalities Coffin cited totaled 296 between 2007 and 2019. This is terrible, but here’s the latest total — men, women, and children — just in Chicago with ordinary semi-automatic handguns: 2017: 653; 2018: 561; 2019: 492.

How many members of the NRA in good standing have been convicted of murder in the last 20 years? Coffin is barking up the wrong tree. 

Greg Williams


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