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Home The Feuilleton of MilSan and MikWag Safe at Last, Safe at Last

Safe at Last, Safe at Last

By our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired

at whim... we have created an atmosphere in which

violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.

Martin Luther King

 

The second amendment of the US Constitution was ratified in 1791.  Its text reads as follows:  Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms.  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. Proposed 09/25/1789.  Ratified 12/15/1791.

In 1791, when the second amendment became law, America had just emerged from the War of Independence and had not yet become a strongly unified country.  The protection provided by the standing army was not reliable; the military and militia groups were mistrusted; and random attacks from bandits, even troops from other states and Indians were frequent.  None of these conditions hold today.  Every state has a National Guard, a well-trained police force, and the American military’s capabilities to defend the citizens of the country far outstrip those of any number of fully armed citizens.

 

Yet in 2011, we still have laws intended to protect former colonists from indians, state militias declaring a state of martial law, and one state invading the other.  It’s ridiculous.

 

It is a little known fact that it wasn’t until 2008 that the US Supreme Court decided a second amendment case.  In the District of Columbia v Heller, the Court ruled that the Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

 

I am not a preacher but on this day of MLK, please Make Law against Kalashnikovs (MLK) and deliver upon the potential of a democratic government to protect, provide security, make people feel safe… and wake up the nation…

 

…not by gunshots, but the voice of a reasonable dream:

 

I Have a Dream

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and decide that the second amendment should be repealed.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I want a government that protects.  I do not want to have a gun to make my home safe, to have to carry it when I’m outside, to be afraid that I’ll be shot by someone who should not have gotten a permit to own a gun in the first place.

I have a dream that one day the US Congress realizes that we live in the 21st century; that civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.  And I have a dream to live in a civil society.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Arizona, a state that has just overcome a horrible tragedy, will be transformed into a safe oasis of civility and peace.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations.  Some of you have come out fresh from the tragic events.  Some of you have a hard time reconciling the need for security with the storm of brutality and violence.

But we must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.  We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.  Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

Go back to Arizona, go back to Tennessee, go back to Arkansas, go back to Ohio, go back to the quiet neighborhoods of our southern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.  Let us not wallow in the valley of despair and fear.

Guns should be banned.

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.  So let the voice of reason ring out today and forever silence the gunshots of the ill and the crazy.

When we let reason speak, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city and overtake the Congress, we will speed up that day when all of God's children, Republicans and Democrats, men and women, Asians and Hispanics, sick and healthy, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of national security, "Safe at last!  Safe at last!  Thank God Almighty, we are safe at last!"