Re: Need to clarify terms around assault weapons (Letters, June 24)
“The whole point of the U.S. Second Amendment is to give power to the people in case a tyrannical government rises up …” This sounds like something from the National Rifle Association.
Consider the timing of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which was passed by the U.S. Congress Sept. 25, 1789 and ratified Dec. 15, 1791.
It reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Stated Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg on the legislation: “The Second Amendment has a preamble about the need for a militia … Historically, the new government had no money to pay for an army, so they relied on the state militias. And the states required men to have certain weapons and they specified in the law what weapons these people had to keep in their home so that when they were called to do service as militiamen, they would have them. That was the entire purpose of the Second Amendment.”
Justice Ginsburg further explained, “When we no longer need people to keep muskets in their home, then the Second Amendment has no function, its function is to enable the young nation to have people who will fight for it to have weapons that those soldiers will own. So I view the Second Amendment as rooted in the time totally allied to the need to support a militia. So … the Second Amendment is outdated in the sense that its function has become obsolete.”
The Supreme Court in the U.S. has not had a unanimous decision with regard to the Second Amendment, so stay tuned for some day in the future when one hopes a reality check might finally come to pass.
Let’s not even get into the impact from one musket ball and numerous bullets from a fully automatic assault rifle, regardless of the size of that bullet.