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Burdick Charles

Charles F. Burdick.

It seems to me that many people in our country don't understand the history behind the Second Amendment. The history is important so the meaning behind it can best be understood.

The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms. Today, this is probably the most controversial of the 10 amendments in the Bill Of Rights. And it's probably because of all the recent mass shootings.

About a year ago, I wrote a column about revising the Second Amendment and why it would be a smart thing to do now, and it appeared as a Guest View in The Southern Illinoisan. I can assure you that I got a lot of verbal abuse from this column.

The key word was "revising," and it seems as some people did not understand the difference between revising and eliminating. Let me make it clear at this point: I am not for eliminating the Second Amendment — only updating it. I don’t know how much clearer I could say this.

The Second Amendment, article two was written in 1791. This was brought about by colonial farmers with their muskets that had helped to win the Revolutionary War. They also faced dangers on the frontier. This brought about the consideration of the Second Amendment which reads, “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.”

It is, consequently, a short but powerful amendment in just 27 words.

We all know that wars are now fought differently from that of the Revolutionary War, and the age of muskets has long passed.

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Therefore, my point, when using the word revising, is simply that and nothing more. A far different world exists today and we need to make adjustments to the Second Amendment by bringing it up to date. My idea would be to allow the bearing of arms for self defense and sporting events, such as hunting, trapshooting, etc.

But, I am against any and all military weapons being made accessible to the public’s ownership and use. Military weapons are designed to kill the masses of the enemy and have no business in civilian hands.

The weapons of today far exceeds the weapons spoken about in the revolutionary War. We are a nation of rules, regulations and laws. We have strong military armed forces and it would be a farce to think we needed guns in civilian control for use as was the purpose in mind when the Second Amendment was written 228 years ago.

As long as military weapons are available to the public, mass killings will continue. The people that commit these crimes are mentally unstable, criminally minded, cowards or terrorists. They are the scum of the earth.

Why must people continue to die because spineless politicians, including the president, do not have the guts to pass a law and ban military weapons for public ownership and use. These weapons were made to kill humans and not for sports or any other pleasures.

James Madison once said, “In framing a system which we wish to last for ages, we should not lose sight of the changes which ages will produce.”

He was right on target as ages have drastically changed things. It is fascinating to look back over two centuries and read the words of wisdom of Madison.

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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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