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To Arms!

To the Editor:

You were right to warn us about Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness system and no-fly lists [“O Big Brother, Where Art Thou?,” Dec. 5]. But when you discussed guns, you missed the boat. If we want to be safer against terrorists, we need more, not fewer, guns, and it needs to be easier for people to arm themselves, not harder. Had only a couple of passengers on each of the 9/11 flights been properly armed, the Twin Towers would still be standing and three thousand victims would be celebrating with their loved ones this holiday season.

The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution, the law of the land, does not allow you to implement any system to close any imagined “loopholes” in the existing, blatantly unconstitutional gun laws. The Second Amendment is very simple, very clear: “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.” You can argue all you want, but what this means, in the words of L. Neil Smith, is that “Every man, woman, and responsible child has an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—any time, any place, without asking anyone’s permission.”

And why may you not close those loopholes? Mr. Smith again: “Reread that pesky first clause of the Second Amendment. It doesn’t say what any of us thought it said. What it says is that infringing the right of the people to keep and bears arms is treason. What else do you call an act that endangers ‘the security of a free state’? And if it’s treason, then it’s punishable by death. I suggest due process, speedy trials, and public hangings.”

The reason our Constitution has a Second Amendment is not well known, anymore. Yes, it affirms our right to hunt. Yes, it affirms our right and duty to defend ourselves, our families, and our communities against criminals and terrorists. But the major reason for the existence of the second amendment is to guarantee that we always have at our disposal the tools to overthrow the government, should it become necessary. With the recent passage of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act and the Fatherland, er . . . Homeland Security Act, it’s getting mighty close to necessary.

There, that should get me on the no-fly list.

Bill St. Clair
New Lebanon

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: metroland@metroland.net. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

Send to:
Letters, Metroland, 4 Central Ave.,
4th Floor, Albany, NY 12210
or e-mail us at metroland@metroland.net.


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