Protecting the Second Amendment

EDITOR: I recently read an editorial in another publication that is highly pertinent to the ongoing gun-control debate. Signed by 1,100 Green Berets, it is entitled "Protecting the Second Amendment - Why ALL Americans Should Be Concerned." The following two paragraphs (the first describes a real situation that actually happened) from that editorial attempt to answer the question in its title:

"The answer is: 'The Battle of Athens, Tennessee.' The Cantrell family had controlled the economy and politics of McMinn County, Tennessee since the 1930s. Paul Cantrell had been sheriff from 1936-1940 and in 1942 was elected to the State Senate. His chief deputy, Paul Mansfield, was subsequently elected to two terms as sheriff. In 1946 returning World War II veterans put up a popular candidate for sheriff. On Aug. 1, Sheriff Mansfield and 200 "deputies" stormed the post office polling place to take control of the ballot boxes, wounding an objecting observer in the process. The veterans, bearing military-style weapons, laid siege to the sheriff's office demanding return of the ballot boxes for public counting of the votes as prescribed in Tennessee law. After exchange of gunfire and blowing open the locked doors, the veterans secured the ballot boxes, thereby protecting the integrity of the election. And this is precisely why all Americans should be concerned about protecting all of our right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment!

Throughout history, disarming the populace has always preceded tyrants' accession of power. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all disarmed their citizens prior to installing their murderous regimes. At the beginning of our own nation's revolution, one of the first moves made by the British government was an attempt to disarm our citizens. When our Founding Fathers ensured that the Second Amendment was made a part of our Constitution, they were not just wasting ink. They were acting to ensure our present security was never forcibly endangered by tyrants, foreign or domestic."

The undersigned Green Berets then went on to list their recommendations to address the "complex sociological problem" that "is not a gun-control problem" in order to protect our children:

1) Support our Second Amendment;

2) Establish security protocols for our schools;

3) Pass Assisted Outpatient Treatment laws (formerly known as Involuntary Outpatient Commitment) to allow court-ordered treatment of individuals with mental disorders;

4) Support the implementation of firearm safety training programs (such as "Eddie the Eagle") in our schools;

5) Discourage gratuitous violence in movies and video games;

6) Repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 so that mentally disturbed individuals aren't free to inflict their violence without fear of interference;

7) Shift responsibility to border states to prevent illegal shipments of drugs and guns since the federal government is not competent in this mission; and

8) Take personal responsibility for our choices and actions rather than harbor the illusion that passing more gun laws will help.

The entire text of this editorial (it is two pages long, not too much to read!) can be found at

Jerry D. Frantz

Columbia Cross Roads, PA