Posted Online: Feb. 04, 2013, 6:00 am

Letter: Keep in mind real history of the Second Amendment

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With the recent tragedy in Newtown, the debate over gun control has flared up again, as it should.

Something as awful as Newtown should not go by without some civil discourse.

However, I have noticed a particular trend to the conversation.
Gun rights advocates seem to be under the impression that we have guns to defend ourselves from the United States government.

When the Bill of Rights was written (in order to get the Constitution ratified), soldiers' weapons were the same as the military's. Citizens could stand up to the nation's military.

Just look at Shays' Rebellion.

Of course, we didn't have an official standing army for a long time, so the average citizens were the military. That's why the Second Amendment begins, "A well regulated militia." Militia was all we had.

Today, technology has advanced and the AR-15, and everything else we own, pales in comparison to what our government possesses.

The United States spends more on its military than any other country on Earth. We outspend all of Europe combined. Our military can go anywhere at any time and defeat any country on Earth in a conventional war.

If our government did decide to become an "oppressive," "fascist," or "communist" regime, we the people could do very little. A semi-automatic rifle is not a match for an Abrams tank, or an F/A-18 Hornet.

Don't worry, the National Rifle Association won't let Congress take guns away, but there are more valid reasons for having them than defense against our elected government.

Anthony Killion,
Orion