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Charles Burdick

Charles Burdick

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

— Amendement II, U.S. Constitution

This amendment came about because Colonial-era farmers with their muskets had helped to win the Revolutionary War. On the frontier, a gun was usually the pioneer family’s only protection against wild animals and prowling Indians. I think it would be safe to say that today the importance of this article would be, that part to protect family’s against criminal actions with intent to do harm.

Unlike the time of the Revolutionary War, today we have a well-organized military in the form of United States Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. To bear arms today as stated in the Constitution for defending our country would certainly be a thought way out in left field. We now bear arms by being drafted or volunteering for the military. We all know that today gun ownership is for protection, sport events, hunting, trap shooting, etc. — and this right should never be infringed upon.

The above being said, let it be understood that the writer of this article firmly believes that all assault weapons has no place in civilian hands. This is a weapon of mass killings for military purposes. When used for illegitimate purposes in civilian hands, it has proven to take the lives of many, mainly children in our schools. It is beyond comprehension why anyone with good intentions would want this type of firearm. As a hunter, I don’t need an assault weapon to bag a squirrel, deer, rabbit, duck or goose.

The most recent shooting in Florida again brings to mind the great need for these weapons to be taken from public access. Here again was a situation where a gunman opened fire with an AR-15 in a large school in South Florida, taking 17 lives in this mass murder. This attack was just the latest of shootings that our country has experienced in the last couple of years. It is much too easy to acquire these weapons.

We must stop talking about something needing done and start doing. We need to outlaw ownership of assault weapons. Not enough is done in identifying and observing people with deranged and demented afflictions and do more to teach and encourage people to report out of the ordinary things said or done by others in their presence.

We to often keep silent when, in fact, we should be speaking out. Metal detectors placed in the main entrance to all schools and kept locked down.

I’m aware that there are those that say to allow assault weapons to be outlawed would set a precedent and would lead to the loss of all firearms. This is a ridiculous thought and is used only by those in opposition.

If you disagree with my opinion, stop and think for a moment of all those innocent children that are no longer living because of the AR-15s and other weapons of mass killings. Think of the families of those children murdered and the grief that they will experience the rest of their lives. Put yourself in their place and cry their tears.

To allow the continued purchase of assault weapons will allow this murdering and maiming of a heart breaking situation to continue. Let’s come to our senses and eliminate all assault weapons to the public.

It is urgent that we act now to stop this tragedy sweeping our nation.

My strong opinion: Let not mistakes of the past go unchallenged, if allowed the future will be repetitious.

Charles F. Burdick is a lifelong resident of Grand Tower. After graduating from high school, he joined the U.S. Navy and then went on to a 42-year Maritime career including 35 years as Master Pilot. He has been retired for 23 years and enjoys local history and writing poetry.


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