In the U.S. northwest recently, a self-armed, unorganized militia group protested the use of land as a national wildlife refuge. Tragically during that event, one protester was shot and killed.

That episode, plus a host of other episodes of gun-related violence, ought to compel us to consider whether or not the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be repealed as is the 18th Amendment (prohibition).

The Second Amendment 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.”

To better understand the meaning of the word “militia,” I turned to my dictionary. That word has several meanings, one of which is identified as an “Americanism” that reads: “ the U.S., all able-bodied males not already members of the National Guard and the Reserves (of the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps) constitutes the organized militia; all others, the unorganized militia.”

Ratified in 1791, the Second Amendment is symbolized by the image of a “minuteman” farmer standing in his field with both a horse-drawn plow and a musket at hand. However appropriate that symbol might have been in 1791, it is not at all relevant to modern Atomic Age U.S. armed forces.

During the days of the old Wild West, cowboys having arrived at market following a long, hard cattle drive were regularly required to stow their guns in the sheriff’s office until the owners were on the way of out town to return home.

That practice was carried out in order to ensure civility in the community. Nowadays, such sound judgment is construed to be an infringement of a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.

It is my opinion that civility within our nation would be immensely improved if the Second Amendment were repealed. I am most interested in knowing if you have something to say on this matter.

Paul Lagojda

Cumberland Township

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