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The Second Amendment and guns
Letter to the editor
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There appears to be some misunderstanding about the Second Amendment and guns. I would like to pass on some information in this regard.

The most important amendment is the First, which gives us our basic freedoms. The Second is to protect those freedoms. The intentions of our forefathers were to ensure that we could protect our country from foreign intervention and an oppressive national government. Check out the many dictatorships where guns are prohibited.

The Second Amendment came into play twice in our history. The first was the war of 1812 when everyday citizens used their personal weapons to fight off a British invasion. The second was in World War II. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto stated, "To invade the United States would prove most difficult because behind every blade of grass is an American with a rifle".

This quote came from the files of historian Gordon Prange. The American mainland is much safer today from aggression by a foreign power because of the second amendment.

There are two basic types of handguns — pistols and semi-automatics. A pistol holds six bullets and has to be manually reloaded, which takes a lot of time. This is the handgun used in the early west. The most popular handgun is the semi-automatic, which holds a clip of 10-15 rounds. Handguns are primarily used at close distances, as their accuracy is not very good at long range. A clip can be dropped and another reloaded in two to three seconds, giving a shooter immense fire power. Is this an assault weapon?

Rifles come basically in three styles — bolt action, semiautomatic and assault. A bolt action needs a manual operation every time that a bullet is chambered. These are super-accurate weapons and used by snipers and target shooters. The semiautomatic rifle has a magazine holding anywhere from six to thirty rounds. Even if a semiautomatic has a low capacity magazine, the magazine can be changed in seconds just like the semiautomatic handgun. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic. It is not an assault weapon.

The military and the police use assault weapons. It is the M4, which fires 750-950 rounds a minute. The barrel of the AR-15 would melt at this rate. The previous version of M4 is the M16. By the way, the M stands for model, not military. An assault rifle is fully automatic — basically, a machine gun. Assault firearms have been severely restricted from civilian ownership since 1934. Calling a semiautomatic rifle an assault weapon is a political ploy by gun control advocates.

The three weapons most likely to be found on any battlefield besides the M4 are the Remington 700 bolt-action hunting rifle (used by U.S. snipers since the 1960s), the Colt M1911 pistol (used by U.S. troops since the early 1900s), and the Beretta M9 pistol (used by U.S. troops since the 1980s). This information is not all inclusive, but covers the most popular firearms.

No matter which side of the argument you are on, you should at least have an understanding of our Constitution and guns.

Len Calderone


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