Nicholas Kristof's recent column: "Killer speaks blunt truth about gun control," is a long-winded piece of drivel. Kristof's rant reaches epoch proportions, as he proffers the perspectives of a convicted murderer in support of his antigun agenda. The expert Kristof quotes is incarcerated in a maximum security prison for killing an acquaintance during a drug quarrel.
My response to Kristof's distortions and convoluted reasoning are as follows.
The horrifying lessons of history indicate that governments are capable of committing atrocities against their people. In every case these genocides began with gun control.
Cognizant of government's inherent tendency to fixate on grasping more power and control, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "It's the right and duty of the people to be armed at all times." Laws disarming honest citizens declare that the government is the master, not the servant, of the people.
A government that fails to protect its citizens has no right to deprive them of the means to defend themselves. Bureaucracies aren't under any legal obligation to protect and save life. A fact ignored by zealots and the media is that handguns are used by good people to prevent crimes and save lives on an average of 2.7 million times per year.
The sale and purchase of assault rifles (automatic firing) is illegal. This is a politically spun term designed to create fear and support for those who want to restrict private gun ownership. At present, there are more than 20,000 laws on the books that regulate a citizen's right to bear arms. A collective emphasis needs to be placed on crime control, not gun control.
I don't like firearms. Proficient in their use, I prefer activities that are more in line with the arts. However, it's a blessing to know that if I so desire, I may purchase the means to protect myself.
A nation's people who are subjugated, completely at the mercy of a corrupted government and its politicians, is unsettling. I'm comforted by those who are clearly intolerant of a controlling authority that is heavily armed, while its citizens cower before their overseers, forbidden access to a reasonable means to defend themselves.
Under the best of circumstances, governments turn on their subjects. Government genocide and mass murders for the 20th and 21st centuries have been researched out to total 262 million people. The 16-year rule of Obama and the Bushes will add to this total.
A reasonable means to resist Fascism must remain available, if we desire to maintain any semblance of freedom. It keeps the inherent overreaching leanings of government in check. Our founders knew that without a Second Amendment the government's creeping power, no matter how well intentioned, would eradicated our hard fought for liberties.
We've been incessantly lied to, deceived and manipulated by a foray of American presidents. Under their regimes innocent citizens were killed (both foreign and domestic), law-abiding individuals were wrongfully imprisoned and ordinary folks were censored and harmed for their political beliefs.
It's a little early to stand naked before such power.
John Donnelly, a resident of Key Largo, is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who received two meritorious promotions, one during combat while serving in Vietnam. After his military career, he spent 20 years teaching elementary and high school students.