A closer look at morality and Second Amendment

Posted12/9/2019 1:00 AM

I wish to make two comments on K. Berman's letter published on the Opion page of Nov. 21. Her letter was a criticism of Walter Williams' column that argues that a decline in morality is the main reason for most of the senseless violence in our country today. Her main point is that, despite the Second Amendment, we need the federal government to control firearms. The purpose of the Second Amendment is precisely to check federal power.

Although the amendment refers to "a well regulated militia" of the individual states, over the years, the militia reference has become thoroughly (and often deliberately) misinterpreted to imply that the framers intended citizens to be armed only in the context of an army under state authority, In fact, militias were the exact opposite of a state-controlled army: the state militias taken together were expected to serve as a counter weight to the federal army, and the further implication was that citizens were to be as well armed as the government itself.


Jefferson, himself, believed that the Constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people and that it is their right and duty to be armed at all times. He expressed this notion when he said that "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants."

John Adams, who worked with Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence, spoke to our better natures when he said that "Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."

Adams would appear to agree with Walter Williams' position on morality. The El Paso shooter, whom Berman references as having posted on social media that he was influenced by President Trump, is a cheap attack appealing to our broken, baser nature. Being human, all of us must chose on which we must focus.

James Truslow Adams knew about humanity when he wrote: "There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us." We need to encourage the good in each other, not focus on human failings.

Charles E. Glomski

Elk Grove Village

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