Letter: Violence is the problem – not the gun

Posted 9/12/19

In response to Steve Kloeblen’s critique of my letter to the editor in a previous week’s Phoenix, I really do not have too much to say. Based on his emotional and impractical call to end …

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Letter: Violence is the problem – not the gun

Posted

In response to Steve Kloeblen’s critique of my letter to the editor in a previous week’s Phoenix, I really do not have too much to say. Based on his emotional and impractical call to end violence, there is little hope of his ever being persuaded to think differently. My letter speaks for itself. Readers of both letters can make up their own minds as to who is rational and who is rationalizing. There is a difference.

Our First and Second Amendments are not rights granted by government. Our founding fathers believed these fundamental rights are founded in natural law — not government.  As the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia explained in the case of the District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, the well-regulated militia language in the Second Amendment neither limits nor qualifies the right of the people to keep and bear arms. For anyone interested, the Heller decision is an interesting read. Google it.

Article 22 of Rhode Island Constitution states the right more directly and succinctly – “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It cannot be argued that this state right is qualified in any way. Yet gun control advocates insist on infringing on the law-abiding citizens’ federal and state constitutional rights.

The fact is that most states have an abundance of gun control laws. Adding more laws will do nothing to prevent mass shootings or violence of any kind. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and yet the killings continue unabated. Does anyone actually believe that evil can be eliminated or controlled by legislation or, for that matter, morality?

It is my opinion and concern that the gun control zealots are not simply seeking to ban certain firearms and magazines. Their objective is to achieve the registration of all firearms. And registration will ultimately lead to confiscation. History is replete with examples of what can happen when government confiscates firearms from law-abiding citizens.

The gun is no more violent per se than the knife, car, rock or just about any other instrument until the evil, angry or mentally disturbed person decides to misuse them and cause harm. I continue to maintain what I believe to be factually correct, logical and rational.  It is not the gun that kills; it is the evil person wielding it.

Peter Hewett
Bristol

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.