Americans are buying and stockpiling enormous quantities of guns and ammunition in anticipation of the implementation of the Brady bill and other pending gun-control legislation in the next few months.

The naivete of American citizens amazes me. People honestly believe that once they possess these items, the government cannot take them away; that once inside their homes, they will be protected, shielded by the U.S. Constitution, exempt from government intrusion and confiscation.I take sharp exception to this point of view. People have forgotten that although the concepts in the Constitution and its amendments are brilliant and precious, the document itself is little more than a piece of paper. Of itself, it protects no one. The Constitution protects citizens only to the degree that the government honors it.

From my observations, government behavior, more and more, shows little sanctity for the Constitution; but rather, the government uses the Constitution as a sword to be wielded or as an impediment to be circumvented, as suits its purposes. Any time an issue classified as "national security" arises, constitutional concerns and citizens' rights have the lowest priorities.

For Americans to maintain their freedoms, they must begin to deal with their government from the reality of how it actually operates, rather than from how it could or should.

Lee Crain

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