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Letters

Letter: Drivers of Second Amendment

To the editor:

When gun fanatics tell me they have a Constitutional right to bear arms, with virtually no restrictions whatsoever, I ask them if they're planning to go searching for runaway slaves. For that is one of the primary drivers for the Second Amendment, enacted in 1791, just after the First Amendment protecting free speech. To be fair there was a second driver of the Second Amendment: Indian removal. The colonists looked west at the lush land inhabited for centuries by indigenous peoples and said, "We want that." King George demanded the colonists stay put in the 13 colonies and levied taxes to be paid in English pounds to pay for soldiers sent to enforce that edit the colonists feverishly ignored. Voila! The Declaration of Independence and revolution.

Once free of hated George III, the colonists formed militias and embarked on westward expansion, initiating a century-long plunder of Native Americans' wealth. And gun ownership was key to the marauding militias, hence the second driver of the famous: "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." What did you expect them to enshrine?: "A well regulated militia being necessary to capture runaway slaves and clear Indians from the west, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  

Walt Zlotow

Glen Ellyn

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