- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I have been following with interest the renewed debate about firearms ownership. The truth is that the Second Amendment has been undermined for generations as though the phrase “shall not be infringed” does not exist within it.

Governments at all levels ignore that phrase by requiring their permission to buy, own, possess or carry firearms of any type. That is infringement by any definition. Perhaps that sounds radical, but the non-infringement phrase is stated by the Constitution in plain, simple language. As an Army officer, I swore to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic — and my oath cannot be ignored. I am always amazed at the inability of some elected people to read and understand simple words and phrases. Our citizenship entails rights and responsibilities, among them the right and obligation to defend oneself, one’s family and one’s property.

I am a believer in and support the efforts of law enforcement. I know from experience that we can never afford to hire enough officers or deputies so they can be where they’re needed in order to prevent crime. Given the limited number of law enforcers we can afford, the time delay of calls for help will almost always place law enforcement in a clean-up and investigative role. As a result, citizens must always be prepared to protect themselves, whether by meeting the threat head-on or by evading it until help arrives. The advent of modern thought, equipment or methods does not relieve citizens from their obligation to defend all of their rights as provided in the Constitution.

For those who at every turn ignore the founding documents, I would advise them to look to the Constitution for the proper method for modifying it. The proper procedures are included within that document.


LEWIS E. BAGGETT

Clarksville, Tenn.