Friday, January 25, 2013


Below is a letter to the editor to the Indianapolis Star. Although I knew it was longer than the ones they usually print, I felt it had so many points that needed to be made, including information on the origins of the 2nd Amendment.
They rejected it on the grounds of its length, yet I pointed out in a series of emails to Tim Swarens, editorial-page editor, that they have been running lengthy pro-gun articles, so I suggested he not consider it a "letter to the editor," but a “conversation” or “my view” -- and run it. He would not.

Further down in my letter, you will find a description of the true origin of the 2nd Amendment. Those who love guns more than they love children seem to believe that the 2nd Amendment was carried down from the mountain top by Moses. The first step in the process to appeal it, which can’t come soon enough, is to understand why it was created.
You might have thought this point alone would have caught the eye of a fair-minded journalist who wanted to examine and report on this well-documented interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. If you help bring this to the attention of the media, we can get it out there, helping to educate both the media and their readers, listeners, and viewers.

But, please, also read the first part of the letter too that provides details of the Indianapolis Star's lust for guns – in only one issue of the paper. Two days later, on Saturday, January 19, a man shot himself accidentally after shopping at the gun show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The Star buried this front-page story back in the Metro section the next day. Earlier, it had also given little notice to the story of three people who were shot at another gun show, again when an idiot (read: gun-show lover) accidentally shot them.
Yes, I do start off with "appalling" a lot - but, aren't we all appalled. A lot?

Dear Editor:
I was appalled by the number of column inches in a single issue of the Indianapolis Star (Thursday, January 17) devoted to pro-gun sentiments.

The top item on Local Living’s “Things to Do Near You” was the Indy 1500 Gun & Knife Show at our Indiana State Fairgrounds. I’ve been appalled for years that the board and staff of the state fairgrounds welcome gun shows. It is even more appalling that your paper touts this as a place to go, with children, no less, especially when gun shows have long been proven to be gigantic loopholes in the efforts to control the sale of guns and the background checks on those who buy them. And you know that.
Erika D. Smith’s column about the delight of shooting the semi-automatic AR-15 rifle (the same one used to murder the children in Newtown, Connecticut) was sickening. Perhaps it would be appropriate to have photos of children to shoot at for target practice?

A survey of our members of Congress brought the expected, knee-jerk reaction defending the right to own guns, ignoring the horrible consequences of owning – and using – assault weapons. The comments from my representative, Andre Carson, said nothing about assault weapons. I want a hero to represent me in Congress, not a coward.

There isn’t room to comment on the idiocy of most of the writing about guns on the editorial page and in the letters to the editor.
I don’t believe in “gun rights.” I believe in human rights, the right to be safe from those who bear arms.

Attempts to sidetrack us into a discussion (another word for “long delay”) of mental illness doesn’t address the fact that the Newtown shooter’s mother owned an arsenal of weapons, including her own AR-15, which proved ineffective in defending herself against her own mentally ill son. We hear a lot of talk about “criminals” – people like her are the criminals, along with those who rob a store or another individual. And, no one who supports the right to own assault weapons is in his or her right mind.
President Obama’s proposals, matching those in the new legislation out of New York, allow current owners of assault weapons to keep them, legally. (We also deserve to have a hero in the White House, not a coward.) As you read this, assault weapons are being sold at a rapid pace, either at a gun shop or, even sadder, at our state fairgrounds. Perhaps Erika D. Smith will buy one at the fairgrounds, if she can stomach the displays of Nazi flags and uniforms, and go whoop it up with her own semi-automatic weapon.

The Second Amendment was willfully misinterpreted by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. It is a little-known fact that the purpose of that amendment was to provide comfort to slave owners when the United States was in its infancy. Professor Carl T. Bogus argues in his book, The Hidden History of the Second Amendment, that there is strong reason to believe that, in significant part, James Madison drafted the amendment to assure his constituents in Virginia, and the South generally, that Congress could not use its newly-acquired powers to indirectly undermine the slave system by disarming the militia, on which the South relied for slave control.  Read more at this link:
Perhaps persons of all backgrounds might be less eager to shout about trampling on the 2nd Amendment if they realized it had been designed to insure that slave owners could brutally put down any slave rebellions.

It’s a great pity that the Indianapolis Star does not have the courage to call for the banning of all assault weapons, including those now or soon to be owned. Obama called them “weapons of war.” Now, however, he has caved, as always, and does not include the banning of the vast arsenal of them already in the hands of the true criminals in this country.
John Sherman