I’ve occasionally found misrepresentation of claims and facts in The Washington Post’s “5 Myths about ...” series that runs in the U-B Perspective section.
That’s not surprising, as they are opinion pieces that often reveal author bias.
For example, in “5 myths about Gun Control” Robert Spitzer wrote: “The Second Amendment was intended to protect the right of Americans to rise up against a tyrannical government. This canard is repeated with disturbing frequency. The Constitution, in Article I, allows armed citizens in militias to ‘suppress Insurrections,’ not cause them.”
Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines canard as “hoax; a false, especially malicious, report that has been fabricated with the intention of doing harm.”
Founding Father Noah Webster — who knew his way around words more than anyone — would strongly disagree with Spitzer about the reason for the Second Amendment. In his Oct. 10, 1787, pamphlet, an examination into the leading principles of the federal Constitution, he was very clear: “... How can a free people be deprived of their liberties? A people can never be deprived of their liberties while they retain in their own hands a power sufficient to any other power in the state. 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 body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”
A “standing army” was defined as a federal military force (including a federally-subordinate, organized militia like the National Guard) that is ultimately controlled by Congress and the Executive Branch.
Webster’s sentiments are supported by such as Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere. Spitzer’s canard about McVeigh and Oswald is simply wrong.
I was impressed with Sheriff John Turner’s Special to the U-B (We must work together to stop tragedy, Dec. 17). Especially applause-worthy was something he didn’t mention — he didn’t demonize certain firearms and those who own them — as is being done by those who demand the government criminalize and confiscate tens of millions “military-style semiautomatic rifles and their 20-round magazines.
Once we recognize that gun bans aren’t solutions, we can start addressing what are: Hardening school security, questioning psychiatric medication use and solving the dilemma of mental illness that produces perpetrators of these mass-shooting atrocities.