I found Lee McCardle’s editorial thoughtful and heartfelt (CDT, 10/20).
Like many individuals who revere firearms, however, he casually excises half of the Second Amendment. For the record, the deletion reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…”
The subtext seems clear: Rational people, acting on behalf of a collective good, have the right to maintain arms with an eye to thwarting common threats. Contrary to NRA rhetoric, the Second Amendment does not unequivocally confer unfettered and promiscuous gun ownership on the lone citizen. Rather, it empowers “the people” to avail themselves of arms when necessary. Let us honor the Founding Fathers by allowing their words to mean what they say.
Of course, the NRA is fine with militias, particularly militias of embittered men acting out adolescent fantasies — though, paradoxically, it often defines the primary threat “to the security of a free state” as the state itself. How ironic that the NRA, so mistrustful of the federal apparatus created by the Founders, must embrace a strong Second Amendment federalism in making their case for a gun-saturated culture.
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McCardle is clearly an honest man, but evidently he can’t see the NRA for what it is: a fanatical lobby dedicated to maximizing the profits of gun manufacturers. True, it professes a devotion to protecting “our freedoms,” but what about a child’s freedom not to be murdered by a firearms fetishist recently returned from that holy ground, “the range,” pumped up on the NRA’s toxic ideology?