Dear Editor:

Please refresh my memory because here we are again, another assault weapon used in the slaughter of innocents, mere months after I wrote about the last massacre. The last time I wrote (as a SUN columnist) to advocate for commonsense gun laws that would ban multi-round clips and military-style assault weapons, I was admonished in these pages with an effete and incoherent argument maintaining that ownership of people-killing devices is due to, “… rights (that) are God-given, and our system of government simply reaffirms those rights. The bare essence of the 2nd amendment is the right to self-preservation.”

Really? What self-preservation was achieved last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut? Whose rights were preserved when Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School, “carrying an arsenal of hundreds of rounds of deadly ammunition — enough to kill nearly every student in the school if given enough time …” He had multiple, high-capacity clips, each capable of holding 30 bullets, and the chief medical examiner said the ammunition was the type designed to break up inside a victim’s body and inflict the maximum amount of damage, tearing apart bone and tissue.

“All the victims at the school were shot multiple times with a high-power rifle, some of them up close. All six adults were women. Of the 20 children, eight were boys and 12 were girls. All the children were 6 or 7 years old.”

God-given rights? What kind of perversion is that? How important were the rights of those children, those teachers? Self-preservation? The gunman’s mother bought into the kind of paranoid fantasies of government tyranny (the type slung by Glenn Beck, in between his commercials for gold coins), leading her to purchase her arsenal, one available the moment, “The gunman shot his mother four times in the head before going to the school and gunning down 26 victims there.”

Every time I write about these senseless massacres, the canard I keep hearing from the defenders of murder machines is that they are somehow a necessary component of “Liberty.”

How many times have guns been successfully used to ensure liberty (with the obvious exception of various military actions) since ratification of the Constitution? That Constitution that reads, “We the People of the United States … insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare …,” well before the Second Amendment, continues being perverted, time and again, by gun fetishists compensating for many things beyond their lack of essential human decency.

Please remind me again why we need assault weapons and multi-round clips? I mean, with a rational, meaningful reason, this time. It’s never been cogently explained to me, frankly. Furthermore, I think most Americans, all of our children and the rest of the world would like to hear why your radical interpretation of the Second Amendment is a good idea and a model for democracy and liberty.

Jim McQuiggin

Peoria, Ariz.

This story was posted on December 20, 2012.