From South of Left Field: Cover and Concealment by Jimmie Galbreath

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Let’s see if I get some blowback for this one, Gun Control.

Now, I grew up cutting my teeth on ‘The Lost Cause’ and World War II as an impressionable little redneck. Liberal colleges and Unions were hotbeds of Communism and guns were tools for hunting and killing wild dogs and vultures to protect new born calves (baby cows for you city folk).

A little over the top but it does reflect my background and my view of guns; not automatic weapons and 30 round magazines by any stretch. I would have laughed at someone saying they needed such things for sport. This brings me to the point, why do some people ‘need’ these things?

I know that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are founding documents and they are clearly deserving of our respect. Time and reading have also allowed me to understand that the Constitution was intended to be a living document rather than a fossil. Amendments have been added, and one actually deleted in our history as our earlier generations have made changes to keep up with world developments and social evolution.

Some actions taken to improve our society have been the 13th Amendment (1865) which abolished slavery (finally), the 15th (1869) protected the right to vote regardless of race and the 19th (1919) which allowed women to vote. Now please reread those three again and try to imagine the society and values that required Amendments to state these rights.

Folks, Americans have demonstrated by these three Amendments the growth AND the gap between the world of the Founding Fathers and the world as of 1919. Our society and our world are still changing and what is and is not in our Amendments reflect who we are today. We have passed an Amendment to abolish alcohol, the 18th, and then repealed it with the 21st Amendment. We decided with the 17th Amendment in 1913 to elect our Senators by popular vote rather than let the State Legislatures do it. In short, the idea that a Constitutional Amendment sits on a pedestal set in stone for all time is silly. So is the concept that the Constitution is like a bible, fixed for all time and beyond tampering or improvement.

Now to guns. The Second Amendment states ‘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.’ In the 18th Century, this was a concept rooted in the history of England so people would have recourse by combat against their government or with their government in defense against invasion. In the world of black powder muzzle loading guns, muzzle loading smooth bore cannons and uncontrolled free flight rockets that sounds reasonable enough.

In America, the presence of a frontier with raids by or against Native Americans as well as a total absence of law enforcement to shield citizens from criminal attack gave further need for having weapons at hand. For me, the image of the Minuteman reflects the reason for the Second Amendment.

Now passes some hundreds of years from then to now. Welcome to the world of scoped sniper rifles that can kill over one mile away, laser scopes, night vision goggles, grenade launchers, machine guns, mortars, flame throwers, rapid fire artillery, napalm, computer guided missiles, drones, armored personnel carriers, tanks, air strikes, cruise missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons and so much more. That list should paint a picture of what a ‘well-regulated militia’ needs to be ‘necessary to the security of a free state.’

At this point, most would launch into an impassioned argument, but I am largely done. The point here is that for America, times have changed. For our Constitution times have seen it changed to reflect what is hopefully an evolving people. Our struggle to remain a united Nation and to move in the direction of retaining some degree of greatness requires we challenge what is held to be true from time to time.

For myself, I believe the 2nd Amendment is obsolete. State power has grown and changed dramatically, and our best path to internal freedom and a greater sense of security is through our votes, not our guns. The answer to the fear of government is the power of our votes applied in defiance of what any media outlet says. Don’t trust the media, don’t trust the politicians because if we don’t watch them, no one else will. Use your own mind and values and reject all candidates of any Party who don’t pass your own smell test. No vote cast is wasted.

Jimmie Galbreath is a retired Engineer originally from a small family owned dairy farm in Jefferson County, MS. He earned a B.S in Petroleum Engineering from MS State University, accumulating 20 years Nuclear experience at Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station and Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Station. Along the way he worked as a roustabout on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, served 3 years active service as a Quartermaster Officer in the US Army, Supervised brick kilns first in MS than in Atlanta GA and whatever else it took to skin the cat. He now lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

 

Letters to Editor

  1. Willard T Engelskirchen says:

    And what about stand your ground. We seem to have some citizens who think it is their right to harass people who may or may not be legal in our country. Yelling at them in gas stations. Causing them to fear for their lives. Should those who advocate stand your ground also advocate the right of such a person to use deadly force on someone who is assaulting them and causing them fear? If the person who thinks he or she is being assaulted is white (think of the guy in the theatre in FL or the guy offended by loud music in FL – why always FL?) is there a different rule than if he is not white – or not male?

    I firmly believe in the right of a citizen to own a fire arm. However, we seem to have a problem here folks. Is it being exacerbated by poor political leadership?

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