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Letter to the Editor: I Voted for Obama But Not for Gun Control

"There is no right more important to me than that granted by the Second Amendment because, philosophically at least, unfettered gun ownership truly represents power to the people."

 

Many of my friends consider me a leftist. As evidence, they point to the fact that Barack Obama was my choice in the last two presidential elections. I certainly am left enough to think that crime has paid – and paid well – for many unprosecuted executives of corporations, Wall Street and the banking industry.  I think Obamacare does not go far enough to provide health insurance that is the right of all. But the only way the government will ever get my gun is, as Charlton Heston so famously said: “You can have my guns when you take them from my cold, dead hands.”

I am a hunter and enjoy shooting skeet and at targets but that is not why I oppose additional controls on firearms ownership except, perhaps, for expanding the requirements for background checks. My constitutionally guaranteed right to own a firearm and, for that matter, equip it with a 30-round magazine if I wish is integral to my status as a free citizen of a free country. There is no right more important to me than that granted by the Second Amendment because, philosophically at least, unfettered gun ownership truly represents power to the people. It signifies that my government recognizes that it is aware that the responsible and able citizen has the right and wherewithal to protect his or her rights and, if necessary, protect the nation. Trite, perhaps, but true is what a bumper sticker popular among gun owners proclaims: "If there was gun control in 1775, we would all be British subjects.” 

Speaking of Britain, it is virtually impossible for the ordinary subject there to have a firearm for self-defense. But you can bet your boots that the lords and ladies and other persons of privilege can pack heat if they wish. That is usually the way it is in countries with tight gun control. I am not adverse to the requirement that I have a permit for carrying a handgun on my person. I will not register long guns and the government has no business knowing what guns I own, period.

Not all law enforcement, by the way, favors stronger gun control. I think back to a dark, snowy night where there was a disturbance on the woods road near my home and a lone trooper who responded asked me to grab my shotgun and accompany me while he investigated.

I am sick of smug liberal commentators, who could not survive outside of their comfortable urban cocoons, smirking at gun ownership. They betray woeful lack of knowledge about firearms and firearms laws, such as equating a carry permit with a license to have a gun. They inhabit an elitist, urban bubble that leaves them culturally deprived when it comes to how the rest of us live. I stopped watching Fox News eons ago. Since the Newtown tragedy, I no longer watch MSNBC, either. I am tired of wealthy oligarchs like Mayor Bloomberg telling the masses how to live, what soda to drink and crying about how guns create crime in his city. If he wanted to walk his talk, he would disarm his bodyguards. 

I am against virtually any new gun control measures because they are only the beginning. The gun grabbers do not want control. They want elimination of private firearms ownership. There is no better example of their intent than the bill proposed by Connecticut State Senator Ed Meyer that would limit gun ownership to single-shot firearms, making possession of guns that fire multiple rounds a crime. Meyer needs to add provisions to his bill providing funds for more police to enforce it and more prisons to house me and the others like me who would defy it and thus be classed as felons if it became law. His bill only provides fodder for extreme right wing visions of jackbooted enforcers breaking down doors to seize the guns of law-abiding citizens. It irks me no end that I voted for the guy.

I am secretary of a rod and gun club, many of whose members think President Obama has horns, to put it mildly, and not only because they view him as anti-gun. Since Obama first ran for office, I have argued with them his case for greatness. Now, I fear I will have to consume my own words in front of my fellow sportsmen. I pray that Vice President Biden and President Obama realize that, like me, many of their supporters revere the Second Amendment.  I was a Democrat who turned Republican because my party had fallen under the rule of special interests. I quit the Republicans because the party is dominated by oligarchs using Tea Party dupes to work their evil. I should note that I have allowed my NRA membership to expire because I believe that that organization now exists to promote right wing causes and is no longer focused solely, as in the past, on keeping America a “nation of riflemen.” I hope my president does not create a situation that will force me to pay dues to the NRA once again.

Edward R. Ricciuti

Killingworth, CT 

Tim Smith January 18, 2013 at 10:36 PM
December 29, 2012 marked the 122nd Anniversary of the murder of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These 297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection”. The slaughter began AFTER the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms. When the final round had flown, of the 297 dead or dying, two thirds (200) were women and children. Around 40 members of the 7th Cavalry were killed, over half cut down by friendly fire from the Hotchkiss guns of their overzealous comrades-in-arms. Twenty members of the 7th Cavalry were deemed “National Heroes” and awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts. We do not hear of Wounded Knee today. It is not mentioned in our history classes or books. What little does exist about Wounded Knee is normally the sanitized “Official Government Explanation” or the historically and factually inaccurate depictions of the events leading up to the massacre on the movie screen. Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation attempts in United States history. It ended in the senseless murder of 297 people.
Tim Smith January 18, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Before you jump on the emotionally charged bandwagon for gun-control, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of the Second Amendment- The right of the people to take up arms in defense of themselves, their families, and property in the face of invading armies or an oppressive government. The argument that the Second Amendment only applies to hunting and target shooting is asinine. When the United States Constitution was drafted “hunting” was an everyday chore carried out by men and women to put meat on the table each night, and “target shooting” was an unheard of concept, musket balls were a precious commodity in the wilds of early America, and were certainly not wasted “target shooting”. The Second Amendment was written by people who fled oppressive and tyrannical regimes in Europe, and refers to the right of American citizens to be armed for defense purposes should such tyranny rise in the United States. As time goes on the average citizen in the United States continues to lose personal freedom or “liberty”. Far too many times unjust bills are passed and signed into law under the guise of “for your safety” or “for protection”. The Patriot Act signed into law by G.W. Bush, then expanded and continued by Barack Obama is just one of many examples of American citizens being stripped of their rights and privacy for “safety”. Now, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is on the table, and will, most likely be taken away for “our safety”.
Tim Smith January 18, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Before any American citizen blindly accepts whatever new firearms legislation that is about to be doled out, they should stop and think about something for just one minute- Evil does exist in our world. It always has and always will. Throughout history evil people have committed evil acts. In the Bible one of the first stories is that of Cain killing Abel. We cannot legislate “evil” into extinction. Good people will abide by the law, defective people will always find a way around it. And another thought Evil exists all around us, but looking back at the historical record of the past 200 years across the globe, where is “evil” and “malevolence” most often found? In the hands of those with the power- governments. That greatest human tragedies on record and the largest loss of innocent human life can be attributed to governments. Who do governments target? “Scapegoats” and “enemies” within their own borders…but only after they have been disarmed to the point where they are no longer a threat. Ask any Native American, and they will tell you it was inferior technology and lack of arms that contributed to their demise. Ask any Armenian why it was so easy for the Turks to exterminate millions of them, and they will answer “We were disarmed before it happened”. Ask any Jew what Hitler’s first step prior to the mass murders of the Holocaust was- confiscation of firearms from the people.
Tim Smith January 18, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Wounded Knee is the prime example of why the Second Amendment exists, and why we shouldn’t be in such a hurry to surrender our Right to Bear Arms. Without the Second Amendment we have no right to defend ourselves...
Willow February 17, 2013 at 04:30 PM
I do not know enough to make a reasonable argument either way, but I do know one thing...I never want to see repeat of what happened in Newington again. Nor, am I a proponent of taking away anymore rights from Americans. But, this could have been us, the question at hand is: What do we need to do to prevent this from ever happening again? How do you stop someone with so much firepower? I do think that this man had massacre on his mind and would have found away even if he could not get his hands on these weapons. They just made it easier for him, but he could have maybe found a way to blow the school up or set it on fire causing even more carnage. It seems we're are only focusing on one solution, banning these guns, are there not multiple issues at play here? How could no one know, this man was so unglued? Why aren't these WMD's stored in a steel case under lock and key when not in the hands of their owners? Once something is banned, it is gone for good, so I understand the frustration of owners. What in their opinions are alternative solutions to this type of violence? If you own these guns, do you take measures to make sure no one can get to them? Is this in the law? If not, should it be? Could anyone address?

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