To the editor:
I realize you've probably heard enough from me about your editorial and probably won't be able to use what I'm about to write, but after reading Mr. Mason's letter ("Inherent right of self-defense," Oct. 19), I feel compelled to point out an error in his logic, which he actually alludes to in his own letter.
I believe that Mr. Mason is correct that the Second Amendment (that protects our individual right to own and carry firearms) was not meant to protect hunting. It may indeed have been to defend ourselves from an oppressive government, as he says. We cannot be sure of the Founding Fathers' intent, however, since they did not explicitly spell that out (hence all the wrangling in the courts). If our government, or any government (Mr. Mason uses the example of Syria), becomes oppressive, I do not believe that there will be a balance of power, even if we are allowed to keep our assault rifles. Besides RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades), mortars, artillery and auto-firing cannon, our government possesses nuclear weapons. Pushing Mr. Mason's point to its logical end would indicate that we should be allowed to possess the same, to maintain the balance of power guaranteed by the Second Amendment. This, of course, is not possible, for a variety of reasons. I doubt even the Syrian government has limited itself to "just" assault rifles and is utilizing jets, helicopters, artillery, mortars, etc. Mr. Mason, having fought in three of our country's wars, is no doubt aware that there are much more dangerous weapons than assault rifles. I wonder if he believes the average American citizen be allowed to possess any weapon in the U.S. arsenal. Imagine what James Holmes, the man who shot up the Colorado movie theater, would have done with a few hand grenades.
I don't believe Mr. Crowley suggested that we be limited to single-shot firearms in his article. I believe he discussed the problem of handguns and the availability of the weapons we are allowed to possess falling into the wrong hands, like the mentally ill James Holmes.
With all due respect to Mr. Mason and with appreciation for his service to our country, I believe he makes a serious error in logic. The time for a balance of power via the Second Amendment ended around the time of World War I, I'd guess. My family has fought in every war since the Revolution. I, too, like the idea of a balance of power between our government and its citizens. However, I believe technology has now made this impossible. The days of a "Red Dawn" type of guerrilla resistance are over.