Deseret News
Letter to the editor

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified Dec. 15, 1791. Its stated purpose was to help establish and maintain a "well-regulated militia" so that its citizenry could protect themselves from government tyranny or foreign threats. Stockpiling weapons was not listed as an inalienable right.

The gun in use at that time was a smooth-bore long rifle. It was 5 to 6 feet long and weighed 8 to 10 pounds. Its effective range was no more than 100 yards. A good marksman could load and fire it two times in a minute with some degree of accuracy. Reloading was a four-step process.

Today 57 percent of the U.S. national budget is devoted to maintaining a "well-regulated militia." The U.S. spends 1 of every 3 dollars spent worldwide on weapons of destruction. Private ownership of military assault weapons is quite unnecessary. No one is benefited by owning an assault weapon. In fact, such ownership has created great financial, social and emotional burdens on society.

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The prevailing lame excuse is that "changing the law will not stop the carnage." Of course it will not. Neither does one brick make a wall, but 1,000 bricks do. The problem needs to be approached in 1,000 different ways — individually, collectively, politically and economically.

John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Likewise, laws are made for law-abiding people. Blood alcohol limits are established for sober people. Tax laws are made for law-abiding wage earners. And gun laws are made for a peaceable people. The police, the judiciary and the prisons were established for those who do not obey these laws.

Raymond Mayo