Letters to the Editors
Second Amendment still needed
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 24, 2002
Re: Constitution doesn't give everyone right to pack a pistol, Sept. 20 letter
Editor: The writer misclassifies himself as a constitutionalist, and needs a dictionary and a look at history to get his facts straight.
Thomas Jefferson kept a veritable armory of pistols, rifles and shotguns at Monticello, and he would have been astounded to hear anyone claim that all firearm ownership was not an individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
My dictionary defines "bear arms" as "to carry weapons." It further defines "weapon" as an instrument used in offensive or defensive combat. There are no distinctions between a rifle, a handgun, a sword or a cannon.
To say that the Second Amendment is a crutch is absurd. To argue that the Second Amendment's words "right of the people" mean "a right of the state" completely overlooks the First and Fourth Amendment's use of the same term "right of the people," which means you and I as individuals. States do not have rights, they have powers. ". . . the right of the people to . . . bear Arms, shall not be infringed" is crystal clear and unambiguous.
The Second Amendment obsolete? There is no time limit on any of the precious individual rights enumerated by the Bill of Rights. Militia refers to each and every citizen capable of bearing arms, and has nothing to do with the National Guard. The purpose of bearing arms was to defend against tyranny as a group and to protect each and every citizen's life and property against criminal attack. Samuel Adams, a handgun owner, pressed for an amendment stating the "Constitution shall never be construed . . . to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
Attacks on any part of the Bill of Rights is an attack on each and every other part. The Bill of Rights must be kept whole or it will crumble and all of the people's rights will be infringed.
The people need final say on funds
Editor: I read that the New Port Richey Council increased the purchasing power of its city manager.
It is a fact that the city passed its $26-million budget with the first reading in less than 20 minutes without discussion. Letting the city manager have $10,000 in carte blanche purchasing power will, in my opinion, lead to favoritism and corruption.
Giving this power to the city manager does not let the council or the people have final control of city finances, as a democratic society should.
Help conquer children's cancer
Editor: September is Childhood Cancer Month.
Yes, children get cancer, too. In fact, despite remarkable research progress, cancer still kills more children than any other disease. More and better cures must be found.
Our son, Bryan, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in October 2001. He is a survivor, but other children are not as fortunate.
A gold ribbon worn on your lapel shows that you want to Conquer Kids' Cancer and see more cures available for infants, children and teenagers with cancer. I wish everyone in the Tampa Bay area would wear a gold ribbon during September, because our children are our gold!
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