I must take issue with the letter, “Gun grabbers keep going” of May 8, 2013, by Gary Thompson.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution was not intended to and does not grant or deny the individual the right to bear arms.
In the 1700s, life was so precarious that denying an individual the right to bear arms was as ridiculous as denying them the right to have a plow.
Such an issue was so absurd as to not even be considered.
The high concern of an overzealous strong central government subverting states’ rights was the motivation for the Second Amendment.
The primary author of the Bill of Rights (which includes the Second Amendment) was James Madison.
Mr. Madison wrote in the 46th Federalists Paper that those who are guaranteed the right to bear arms shall be officered by men chosen from among themselves and loyal to their individual state governments.
He describes it and refers to it as an organized militia, a National Guard.
He further suggested that a proper ratio would be 25 or 30 thousand federal troops to 500 thousand state militia.
The Second Amendment was not even remotely intended to grant nor deny an individual the right to bear arms.
The 10th Amendment declares that the powers not delegated by the Constitution are reserved to the states respectively.
The Constitution does not give the federal government the right to deny an individual the right to bear arms.
Therefore, it is a matter of States rights.
There is one exception. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to, “...provide for the general welfare.”
Inherent in this power is the ability to insure proper qualifications through testing, licensing and or registering of those who practice medicine, fly planes, practice law, drive vehicles, design buildings, and the list goes on.
The government even requires registering those who vote.
Requiring certification through background checks that a person does not have mental or background issues that would preclude their possessing fire arms is undeniably contained in this responsibility and power.
Because they might subvert or violate a power by summarily trying to confiscate arms is no justification for denying the government that Constitutionally granted power.
We must either trust in the principle of checks and balances or cast aside our governmental system, the Constitution.
The “UN Arms Treaty”, (Arms Trade Treaty) referenced by Mr. Thompson is another subject.
Nevertheless, the recent measure voted upon by the Senate was not, as written, the treaty itself, but a nonbinding test amendment expressing opposition to the ATT which was tacked onto an unrelated congressional budget resolution.