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July 31, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: July 31, 2012

TERRE HAUTE — Focusing on the true meaning of our laws

Notwithstanding the United States Supreme Court’s holding in McDonald vs. Chicago, it was never the intent of the authors of the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments) to extend to the individual the right to keep and bear arms under the wording of the Second Amendment.

Various amendments founded in these 10 amendments address the civil rights of the people in an aggregate sense, by the word people; versus the word person(s) intended for the use in an individual context. By the First Amendment, the people are protected against government interference in the collective sense: religion, speech, press, assembly, and redress of grievances. Of the Second Amendment, the people hold the right to protect themselves by a standing militia to establish the security of a free state via a well-regulated force which keeps and bears armaments to protect the state against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Contrariwise, Amendments Nine and Ten address the collective rights of the people by use of the word people. The authors postulated individual rights via Amendments Three, Four, Five, and Six by and through the use of person(s).

Given these amendments manifest and differentiate between collective and individual rights, had the authors intended the Second Amendment to include the individuals’ rights to possess guns, this amendment’s wording would have been the right of the person (not the people) to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

In this context, what is the product of this ignorance of the meaning and import of the Second Amendment? The fact is we now have a generation of Americans, including a Supreme Court, who believe in and are guided by the consequence of an individual gun ownership falsehood which was never intended by the authors of the Second Amendment.

Since millions of these lethal weapons are held and circulate in American society involving weapons of war such as the AR-15, AK-47, and Glock 40, what happened in Aurora, Colo., last week is destined to happen again.

— Earl Beal

Terre Haute

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