A View From the Deck: It's not just a RIGHT, it's a RESPONSIBILITY

In this installment of 'A View From the Deck', local author J. Wiley Dumas takes a look at the 2nd Amendment and the responsibility involved.

I normally do my utmost to avoid blogging on subjects that smack of politics in any way, shape, or form, but a recent incident has forced me to speak out on a subject that tends to stir up controversy anytime it’s mentioned.

I’m talking about the 2nd Amendment.

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.’

First off, I am a gun owner. I am a LEGAL gun owner.  I enjoy shooting, and, not meaning to brag, I’m pretty good at it.

My reasons for gun ownership are many, but primarily it boils down to the fact that I have the RIGHT, as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

The majority of LEGAL gun owners in the United States are law-abiding citizens who would never dream of using their firearms to commit a crime. They own guns for various reasons: hunting, protection of home and family, or like myself, they
just enjoy shooting. The 2nd Amendment guarantees them that Right.

The majority of LEGAL gun owners in the United States are also RESPONSIBLE gun owners. They practice safe handling of their firearms, they secure them properly when not in use, thus keeping them out of the hands of children or others not qualified or instructed in the safe handling of firearms.

The majority of LEGAL gun owners in the United States exercise their Right in a responsible manner.

But, as in anything, there are always those that ruin it for the rest of us.

The ‘Anti-Gun’ Lobby in this country loves to jump on any incident where firearms are used to commit a crime. When this occurs, they shout “They used a gun! Take all the guns away!”

If someone uses a car to commit a crime, nobody shouts “They used a car! Take all the cars away!” Or “They used a pair of scissors! Take all the scissors away!”

No, it’s always “Take all the guns away!” FROM EVERYONE, not just the individual responsible for the crime.


Well, some people in this country don’t like guns. That’s a simple fact, and that is most certainly THEIR Right. Guns to some represent power and authority. Some people are (understandably) afraid of guns. It doesn’t matter. Those are their

But the simple truth of the matter boils down to one thing:

It wasn’t always so easy to kill a man.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of The United States was ratified on December, 15th, 1791, and I’m not going to dissect it and hash over the implied meaning in the manner that some do. Everyone has a difference of opinion on exactly what it means. But, all told, it states that we have that Right, and it shall NOT be infringed.

But think about this for one moment. 1791. During that time, the most common firearm in use was a .68 caliber flintlock smoothbore musket. To load, aim, and fire this weapon, one had to do the following:

Cock the hammer to the ‘half cock’ position.

Tear open a paper cartridge with their teeth, or,

Pour a charge of powder down the barrel.

Seat the ball in the muzzle.

Withdraw the ramrod and seat the ball down on the powder in the breech.

Replace the ramrod.

Pour a measure of powder into the pan.

Bring the hammer to the ‘full cock’ position.



This procedure normally took anywhere from 15 to 20 seconds. In battle, that is an ETERNITY.

One had a few moments to THINK about what was going to happen during that procedure.

When the 2nd Amendment was ratified in 1791, there were no repeating rifles, no automatics, no assault rifles. Soldiers faced one another in ranks, at distances no more than 100 yards. They could see the faces of their enemy. It was personal. It
was INTIMATE. They had ONE SHOT to fire, then, provided they werre still standing, repeat the loading procedure.

In 1791, Drone Strikes were not carried out in impersonal manners by Nintendo whizzes sitting safe in a command bunker, a far distance away from the field of battle.

In 1791, it was understood that the RIGHT of ‘Keeping and Bearing Arms’ entailed GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. In this day and age, because firearms have become more advanced, and loading, in some cases, is simply a matter of inserting a clip
into the magazine well and releasing the slide, that responsibility has become

The taking of another person’s life is NOT a natural act, nor should it EVER be
trivialized. Ask ANY combat veteran.

I don’t know if video games such as ‘Call to Duty’ and others like it have made the taking of another’s life seem ‘trivial’, or if this has numbed people to that fact. I only know that as gun owners, we have not only the RIGHT, but we have a public responsibility.

'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.

A firearm, just as it was in 1791, is a tool. That tool can put meat on the table. That tool can be used to defend your home and family. That tool can be used in many SAFE, responsible ways. But like ANY tool, an axe, a hammer, or a chainsaw, it also has the potential of being misused.

A firearm, ANY firearm, used in the wrong manner, is DANGEROUS. But so is a car, or a pair of scissors. Cars are easy to operate as well. So are scissors.

As gun owners, we should not only exercise our Right to ‘keep and bear Arms’, but also, even more importantly, we must ALWAYS demonstrate the RESPONSIBILITY associated with that Right.

For if we fail in that, the ‘Anti-Gun’ Lobby will be justified.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michael September 30, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Bill, in some cases I feel you are right regarding the absolute freedom of speech being controlled as well. And I agree with what you write about. Additionally, it is a slippery slope to start to amend freedom of speech and an easy first step to control gun laws to disallow extended clips, extend waiting periods, open national registries of gun ownership and application and remove assault rifles and body armor from store and internet sales. After all if it illegal to shout "fire" in a movie theater and that is a restriction of rights. You can still have your guns for turkey shoots and Johnny's skeet shooting tournaments and even small caliber handguns for when your neighbor walks across the trailer park and attacks. Let lets agree the rest of the threats can be handled by and protections can come from our local Madison militia other wise know and the Police chief and his fine officers. Who by the way do a great job and leave me sleeping in peace every night. We can't allow someones reckless defense of the 2nd amendment subjugate the real purpose of the Constitution and its amendments and that is to protect and serve a free society. Imagine that a whole article on here with out claiming to be more patriotic or God fearing then anyone else. Go figure?
Bill September 30, 2012 at 09:34 PM
The argument "you can't shout fire" in a crowded theater is true, and a very poor argument in this case. You can't shout fire, of course unless there is a fire, you can't discharge a firearm in your backyard legally, unless in self defense. You need a better argument. Reasonable restrictions, the problem is the definition of reasonable, it's a subjective term. Years ago they trie to ban "Saturday night specials" inexpensive handguns. Seemed reasonable, cheaply made inexpensive handguns that any punk could afford. The problem was the definition is subjective, and also restricts the poor from being able to afford self defense. Btw, police officers are great protectors, if you can survive an attack long enough for them to get on scene with a response time of 4 to 15 minutes, depending what town your in.
Bill September 30, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I don't believe in the restriction of freedom of speech, btw, in the sense that we have already given up too much of that freedom already. Fortunately, for anyone who wants to give up anymore constitutionally protected (protected not granted btw, important distinction) there is a process, amendment. If congressmen feel strongly enough that we shouldn't have these rights, let them be honest about it and move for amendment, stop trying to back door us out of our rights.
Michael October 01, 2012 at 12:49 AM
And there it is Bill. I figured if I chatted with you long enough you would defer to the musical musings of your aluminum foil headgear and in the same response claim your love of the 2nd amendment had something to do with your concern of arming the poor. Also taking a shot at law enforcement response times by claiming a possible attack by an attack dog. I guess that could happen if dogs were training to attack weak arguments. One last time. the argument has nothing to do with legal use of a defensive weapon it has everything to do with people who cloak them selves in this defense to avoid restricting their rights due to the crime and death these guns promote. I am outta this blog thread. I am starting to hear dogs coming up the drive way. I need a bigger hat.
Bill October 01, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Michael, after reading your response I had to go back and read mine again, twice, nope, no mention of any dogs in there, not sure what you were reading. As Rush says, give a liberal enough time and he will show you who he really is. When you can't debate with ideas, you resort to name calling and changing the subject. Fortunately you admitted, well you did from the outset, its all about restricting rights you personally disagree with, constitutional protections be damned. And for that matter, the heck with all the studies that show restrictive gun laws don't work, as with many on the left, its not the results that matter, only the intent. Why are you so intent on disarming your opponents? I understand you prefer a world where an 80 year old woman cant defend herself against a 210 pound home invader, where a 110 college student can't defend herself against a masked rapist, I just don't understand why?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »