The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


June 30, 2012

June 30, 2012 Letters to the editor: Ron Yarian

Comparison of tragedies


Two letters responding to my June 9 letter, “Power of the NRA,” concerning the NRA, included a June 21 guest opinion which took issue with the facts and the second brought emotion into the definition of my opinion.
There is a bridge between fact and emotions. Facts, and I might add, research, along with heart-breaking tragedies that the proliferation of guns brings to our doorsteps does illicit emotions.
Taking issue with my facts by comparing vehicular tragedies to gun tragedies is comparing apples to oranges and doesn’t change the facts. Such a comparison is a weak attempt to divert attention from the real issue, which is the role the NRA plays in subverting the Second Amendment and deregulating a proliferation of guns. If you want facts, one in three Americans knows someone who has been shot.
Sadly, more gun owners know more about the Second Amendments than the First. I don’t need instructions on the verbatim wording of the Second Amendment. But I do read our history and I don’t need to Google it. One interesting comment on guns was made by David Keene, NRA president. He said, “If you had asked in 1968, will we have the right to do with guns in 2012, what we can do now, no one, on either side, would have believed you.”
If you believe that the Second Amendment is not open to interpretation, you do not understand the history of our country or the powers that shape it. In the 1970s, the NRA advanced the argument that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual the right to carry a gun, rather than the people’s right to form an armed militia to provide for the common defense.
In 1968, the NRA’s interpretation of the Second Amendment achieved the repeal of parts of a previous gun control act. The interpretation was written by the NRA and other gun organizations, causing former Chief Justice Warren Burger to claim that the interpretation of the Second Amendment was “one of the greatest pieces of fraud on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”
The Second Amendment has always been open to interpretation. We have come a very long way from our Founding Fathers’ original intent, yet the NRA’s political and corporate ties continue to erode that intent. Meanwhile, needless tragedies will continue.
Ron Yarian

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