Readers Write: The right to bear arms

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The Second Amendment to the Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Second Amendment has been supported by the United States Supreme Court as an individual right to own a gun. If a new administration changes the makeup of the Supreme Court, which then finds that individuals do not have the right to own a gun and the federal government then decides to confiscate guns; the Fifth Amendment — “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation” — takes effect.

There are an estimated  245 to 360 million guns in the United States with an estimated value of $200 to $400 per gun. The financial cost would be $49  to $144 billion for the guns alone. That excludes the related litigation costs to determine disputed values and the confiscation costs.

Since the federal government does not know where the guns are, which federal agency will actually search for and confiscate the guns is a problem, as many people will not willingly surrender their guns.

In many jurisdictions, the elected sheriff is the primary law enforcement, and may or may not cooperate with the federal government. The  real cost would be the social unrest accompanied by further disintegration of the people’s trust in the federal government.

This then leads to the words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …  That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government …”

William R. Faurot


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