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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Safeguard against tyranny

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Some historians whisper that we are more divided now than we were on the eve of the Civil War, while certain high officers in the executive branch of the federal government are engaged in unabashed assault on our Constitution.

Feeling outnumbered? You're in good company. The Founders felt the same way. Take heart, friends. Our Constitution was written precisely to protect the rights of a minority from the tyranny of the majority. They knew the chaos and failures of Greek models; they wisely selected their best features to form an imperfect (but exemplary) government.

That's why our Founding Fathers constructed not a true democracy, but rather a constitutional republic. Our Constitution's framers were very wise. They recognized that any person seeking to enslave the free citizens of the new republic must first disarm them of effective weaponry. After all, the first skirmish of the Revolution was fought because the British were coming to confiscate weapons and powder in the Lexington magazine.

The Second Amendment was written to safeguard against tyranny — not to assure hunting rights or be against any particular polity. Anyone who favors a "progressive socialist" government should be as vehemently opposed to infringement of their right to bear arms as those who might favor government by military junta.

We're drawn into endless debate over magazine capacity, background checks and loopholes, when the real question is how much will we will give up and what losses we will tolerate. There are, however, a few certainties based on historical precedent: Registration means ultimate confiscation, and nothing surrendered will ever be "enough."

Only with reservations do we consent to be governed by our Constitution, not ruled by imperial edict. If no one else will defend the Constitution, "we the people" must do so. It's ours to defend — or lose.

GEORGE R. GREENE

Fredericksburg, Va.

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