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2nd Amendment fills need

In J.R. Cannon's letter to the editor dated May 19, 1999, he pleads for us to "show respect for our great U.S. Constitution by understanding and honoring both its careful wording and its authors' intent." His letter refers specifically to the Second Amendment.

I agree completely with the above quote. Unfortunately Cannon fails to heed his own advice. It is a silly notion to assume that a "well regulated militia" as stated by the Founders meant a state or federally funded" Army Reserve or National Guard. Indeed, one of their biggest fears was a standing army.When the Founders used the term "the people" as in "the right of the people" they meant it the same context as they did in the preamble and elsewhere. It means the people, individuals, sovereigns, not the state or federal government. It is obvious from even the most casual reading of the Founders' writings that they wanted the people armed as a protection and deterrent to the threat of tyranny by the state as well as any foreign threat.

Furthermore, if Cannon really wanted to know what the Founders meant by a militia, why would he look in a 1994 Webster's dictionary for the definition? Cannon states that the Minutemen, whom he ignorantly equates with the Army Reserve and National Guard, fought the British after the Declaration of Independence in the first battles of the Revolution.

Excuse me, but if memory serves, Lexington and Concord were the first battles of the Revolution, and they were fought a full 15 months before the Declaration was even signed. A month before that, March 23, 1775 is when Patrick Henry gave the famous "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech to the Virginia Convention.

In it he wasn't talking about a trained military unit when he referred to, "3 millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty. . . "

Cannon is right about one thing, though. Neither the Bill of Rights nor the U.S. Constitution gives an individual the right to keep a gun for self-protection. The right to self-preservation is a natural law and is independent of anything manmade. The Second Amendment merely assure us that in the United States that liberty will not be infringed.

A. Taylor Gifford

Sandy