Editor's note: Former Republican Mayor of Middletown Sebastian Giuliano wrote this piece which appeared Jan. 28 in the Middletown Insider.
To the Editor:
The Second Amendment is not limited to guns. It states that ... the right of the people to keep and bear ARMS shall not be infringed." This includes any kind of "arms" — guns, knives, spears, swords, battle axes, maces and, when they are invented, phasers and lightsabres.
The Second Amendment did not "create" or confer any rights. It acknowledged a pre-existing right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms.
Let me ask a simple question: What existed first, individuals with weapons, or armies (militias, if you prefer)? The answer is obvious. Armies were formed from armed individuals banding together (that's basically the definition of "militia").
Let me ask another question: At what point in human history was the inherent right of the individual to arm him/herself subsumed into the power of the state to raise an army? I cannot find any instance wherein free people made such a covenant or compact; I can only conclude that such rights, where they no longer exist, have been tyrannically usurped.
The individual has the inherent (for those of you who don't recognize the term "God-given") right to arm him/herself with weapons equivalent to those with which he/she might be threatened. For those who say that the Second Amendment only extends to muskets, blunderbusses and Kentucky rifles, I respond that those weapons represented the "state-of-the-art" at the time; the framers of the Constitution clearly did not intend for the minions of the government to have such a deadly advantage over the citizens.
As much as I can recognize the damage that one individual bent on destruction can wreak with a firearm, I can't justify limiting the rights of the entire citizenry as an acceptable remedy. For every firearm used improperly, there are countless, just like it, that are not and never will be. To attempt to paint millions of responsible citizens with the same broad brush and, thereby, limit their rights is something I will never accept and to which I will never accede.
I, frankly, decline to admit or deny that I may own a firearm. It's nobody's business. But I do have a bit of a military background and I have been trained to handle some pretty scary stuff. I can tell you, without reservation, that all responsible gun owners and people who have ever fired a gun sincerely hope (and pray) that they will NEVER have to fire it at another human being; no person with a soul or conscience or thought or feeling would ever wish to be in that position.
But they also don't want to be defenseless in the face of an attack upon themselves. For elected officials, who have sworn to preserve and protect the rights of each and every individual citizen, to be telling such citizens, of whose individual circumstances they are completely ignorant, what and how much they "need" is not only violative of their sworn duty, it is condescending, arrogant, contemptuous and downright insulting.
I, for one, can never — and will never — support any political figure who demonstrates such an attitude, be it by his/her words or conduct.
Sebastian Giuliano, Former Mayor of Middletown