The debate over gun control continues. Most of the proposals make no sense whatsoever. But the real issue is usually not considered at all. Just what did the framers of the Constitution have in mind when they stated that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed?

Remember, they had just fought a war against the legal government. Does anyone think that they would then disarm themselves, turning their defense over to the government? No sirree. They did not trust any government because they knew that all governments are run by fallible people, most of whom aspire to ever greater power.No, their concern for the right to bear arms had nothing to do with sport shooting. It had to do with self protection - not against criminals, especially, but against a legitimate government gone astray.

And if you think that is not a serious concern for this nation today, you may not have understood the implications of some of the daily news reports. Just ask Randy Weaver, whose son was shot in the back while running toward his home, and whose wife was shot by a sniper while standing in her doorway holding a baby in her arms. Both were innocent bystanders. Who shot them? A band of "legitimate" officers of the law, such as U.S. marshals, FBI agents, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and others. A criminal investigation is starting against these officers, but why has that taken so long?

The criminals need to be controlled. Everyone agrees to that. But do such foolish laws like waiting periods have any real effect?

Whenever crime, either by "criminals" or by "legitimate" government, becomes unbearable, the citizens either take to the streets themselves, armed to the teeth in self defense, or demand a strong dictator (like Hitler) who promises to protect them.

What if the criminals are not estranged husbands or thugs but the "legitimate" government?

Robert W. English

Salt Lake City