The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
I saw what our founders meant by that amendment early one April morning on the village green in Lexington, Massachusetts. It was before dawn, about 5:30 A.M. I could hear the ominous sound of the measured beating of a drum in the distance. The sound kept getting closer and closer. The beating of the drum was the only sound in the still of that pre-dawn morning.
As the sound of the beating drum became louder and louder and was accompanied by the sound of marching feet, a few men from the houses surrounding the village green came out on the green and began shouting to one another. They loaded their muskets. They lined up in a ragtag order and stood together on the green. They were the Minutemen, the militia of the town of Lexington, mostly farmers, ready to face those who were attacking their homeland.
Over the hill, came the marchers, men in red coats, the British Army. The drum continued to beat. A shot was fired. The militia of Lexington and the British Army then opened fire on each other. And that was the beginning of the American Revolution.
What I was witnessing was a present day re-enactment of that 1775 battle. It took my breath away to feel the tension in the air on that cold morning and to see first-hand the risks the men of the militia took as they defended their emerging country. Of course, the men of that militia should have had those muskets. Of course, the protection of their fellow citizens demanded it.
Yet now 243 years after that battle in Lexington, the intention of the Second Amendment is misconstrued such that many of those who hold political power put assault weapons in the hands of citizens, assault weapons which they use, not to protect the “security of the State”, but to hunt and kill their fellow citizens.
It is insanity.
What can we do about it?
- Work as hard as we can to vote out of office those who support gun violence. Find a district in which a candidate who wants to ban assault weapons needs our help and then dig in. Work remotely. Donate. Show up.
- Support businesses that have taken stands against gun violence by ending preferred treatment for members of the NRA. Here is a link to a list of those companies.
- Don’t do business with companies that refuse to take a stand against gun violence and continue to support the NRA. Here is a link to a list of those companies.
What will be my first steps?
- I am going to email Sister District to find a candidate to support. Here is that link.
- I am canceling my account at FedEx and will use other sources for mailing packages because FedEx refuses to break its ties to the NRA.
- Then, I will go to Dicks Sporting Goods and buy new workout clothes that I don’t even need because that company has decided to stop selling assault weapons.
- And when I fly, it will be only on Delta, both in support of their stand against gun violence and in solidarity with the airline for the way the Georgia state government is penalizing it with higher taxes because of its stand against gun violence.
In taking actions to fight the gun lobby and take assault weapons out of the hands of citizens, we will be connected to those men who ran out on the Lexington Green 243 years ago. They were committed to creating a better country than the one they then had. And so now are we. We will build a stronger United States. We will create a nation that does everything in its power to prevent the slaughter of its children.