To The Editor:
On Jan. 16, I listened with trepidation as Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the passage of the New York SAFE Act. In politically melodramatic fashion, he proclaimed that no one hunts with an assault rifle, and no one needs 10 rounds to kill a deer. While being partially true, the governor ignored the primary reason for the Second Amendment. The framers of the Constitution realized that government had the potential to abuse power. Their wisdom and foresight was so uncanny that the amendment was second only to the right of free speech.
In closing, I leave a compilation of quotes from the founding fathers.
1. George Washingtons address to the first U.S. Congress: Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the peoples liberty, teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon and citizens firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that, to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 and 99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil influence. They deserve a place of honor with all thats good. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour.
2. John Adams: Arms in the hands of the citizen may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private defense.
3. Thomas Jefferson: The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
4. Noah Webster (1787): Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.