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2nd Amendment doesnt make distinctions
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

Roland Martin is a prominent and successful TV broadcaster. That said, he is also a leftist who writes the usual leftist pap re: so-called assault weapons. Quoted in his recent Bulletin article, “I absolutely and positively support the Second Amendment. Americans have the right to bear arms, but nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it say that you must be able to bear any arms your heart desires.”

 I’d like to ask Mr. Martin: Wouldn’t any weapon be considered an assault weapon if it is being used even in self-defense?

 There is not a clear definition of the term “assault weapon.” Also, the constitution does not distinguish the difference between a butter knife and an M16 in the Second Amendment.

 If technology changes 100 years from now, and guns become obsolete as a way of protecting ourselves, what will be “allowed” constitutionally? Technology changes - the Constitution does not change; the “right to keep and bear arms” is not up to the government to decide what is legal and what is not legal to own and use, “shall not be infringed”

What all the leftists do not realize is, the Constitution protects us from our own government. This is the foundation of what makes our country so great. I believe that if individuals do not like our rights as stated in the constitution, they should choose to live where the laws better fit France or Canada.

Mr. Martin, did you know King George was furious that our backwoods men used the so-called Kentucky rifle during the War of Independence? The spiral grooves of rifling make rifles more accurate and give a longer effective ranges. His own troops used what was called a Brown Bess, non-rifled smooth bore musket that was not accurate over 10 yards (if even that) and the “evil” rifle was accurate out to 200 yards.

 This would be labeled an assault weapon in the press of the day as the British feared them so much. 

The point is, Mr. Martin, your anti-gun comments over so-called “assault weapons” fuels a firestorm of ignorance and exploits fear, especially among people unfamiliar with firearms. Misinformation promoted by the leftist anti-gun lobby fuels that fire. Laws prohibiting illegal use of guns already exist, as well as illegal (in many states) ammunition magazines.  Gun owners are overwhelmingly law-abiding responsible citizens.

Despite the multitude of existing gun laws on the books, people bent on committing crimes manage to do so. Using your column as a “Bully Pulpit” is common for anti-gun members of the leftist Main Stream Media (MSM). Too bad you couldn’t use your pulpit to tone down the rhetoric and examine the issue objectively.  Then decide how best to approach the core problem of violent crime instead of blaming honest and decent folks who own what you label evil assault guns.

A true assault weapon is capable of fully automatic fire as well as selective single shot fire where-as the average citizen owns and operates single-shot (one pull of trigger per shot) and legal 5-10 round magazines. Because their firearm copies the appearance of a military firearm, it is labeled as such.

What Mr. Martin doesn’t say is; had the nut cases involved in the past shooting used 5-shot shotguns, practiced speed loading (and actual usage of their weapons) they could most likely have produced much more damage (as the shot cartridges hold more lethal pellets) vs. a single bullet from a rifle. God forbid someone who really knows what they are doing goes on a rampage.

Al Barth
Aug. 19, 2012