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Letter to the editor: Veteran looks at Second Amendment

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Posted on March 29, 2018 |
By Alexander Lyall



What could be better than a Bill of Rights? Madison’s use of language, ratified in 1791, was specific to the times, as words usually are, ever since hieroglyphics. Garde loo, the sixteenth century term tossed out with the second floor slops, did not survive plumbing. No one says garde loo anymore. Things change.

The flintlock musket, embraced by the 2nd Amendment, fired a single charge, requiring patience and dexterity. High velocity rounds at 600 per minute would have ended the Revolutionary War on the first day in Concord.

The 2nd Amendment is twenty-seven words, three commas in two basic parts. First, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…” doesn’t have much to do with going to school, hunting squirrel or protecting the second half of the sentence. It doesn’t require linguistic or legal skills to decipher the meaning. Avid defenders of their rights can’t find five seconds to read what it says, ignoring intent or context as a matter of convenience. Weapons are a habit, comforting like sunshine and prayer.

Oddly enough, today’s rural survivalist “militia” has little use for any amendment. The rest of us have the Marines, who are more than prepared to protect us from a tax on tea, tyranny, the British or rabbits.

Alexander Lyall, Veteran

Middlebury

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