A historical view

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A Jan. 14 letter to the editor entitled "A Recent Platform" attempts to clarify the long-standing confusion about the meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but it totally misses the point.

When our Constitution was written, there was no such thing as an organized militia in this country. Our founding fathers understood the word "militia" to mean "the whole people." As Samuel Adams asked, "Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves?"

Every man was expected to own firearms, the best he could afford, and be proficient in their use. He never knew when he might be called upon to protect himself, his family, his property, his community or his country. There were no organized militias and no local police forces until many years later. The first police didn't carry weapons and they were expected to ask local citizens for help if it was needed.

In order to be understood, the Constitution has to be read as it was written, as the people who wrote it intended. Many of today's writers claim that it means what they want it to mean.

EARL L. BROWN
Morningside


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