May 30, 2024

Right to bear arms

In response to a series of letters in the BDN regarding assault weapons, what the writers fail to see is what the real intent of the Second Amendment was. It was written for “the right of an individual to keep and bear arms.” Now what does the term arms mean? Does it imply only the weapons that people hunt with? No, in fact, it does not.

The fact is the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, or sport except to say that since firearms are legal then you can use them for these purposes. In other words, when these guys are out hunting, the only thing they have a constitutional right to do is carry the weapon they choose. The actual hunting is not a right but a privilege given by the state. We can argue about whether hunting only being a privilege later, but this notion that we should only have hunting weapons is incorrect.

To prove this, one must look at the weapons that were being talked about at the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights. These were, in fact, the very weapons we just won a war with. In other words they were the assault weapons of the day. The people who wrote the Bill of Rights were talking about protecting yourself, your family, your property and country. They were not talking about hunting as I am sure they never considered there would be a restriction on it.

Please, if you don’t like so-called assault weapons, don’t buy one. But leave my right to have those and other firearms alone and I’ll leave your “non-right” to hunt alone.

Chris Williams


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