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Gary Hart Headshot

Real Minutemen, Rise Up!

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It may take the slaughter of small children to finally prompt true minutemen to separate themselves from gun extremists. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that gun ownership is guaranteed by the Constitution and an estimated 300 million guns of various kinds are at large in the nation. It is not realistic to expect a gun-less America.

But, whatever else the Second Amendment may or may not mean, it is posited on a "well-regulated militia," a militia mentioned three times in the Constitution. Most hunters and gun owners do not own nor wish to own military assault weapons. They see no need for them. They do not want them. They do not believe such weapons fulfill any perceived need for home security or hunting.

The National Rifle Association, which claims to speak for America's gun owners, makes only one argument for assault weapons: if "they" take away our assault weapons, then "they" will come for our sporting guns. Never mind that the mysterious "they," purposely left vague to serve the needs of paranoia, is the government of the United States whose president and members of Congress are all elected by a majority of American citizens.

Outside the arena of combat, assault weapons serve no plausible purpose. To justify private ownership of combat weapons, therefore, a military purpose must be imagined.

The needs of paranoia require fear, fear that embraces black helicopters, abdication of U.S. sovereignty, U.N. government, and assumption of power by the Trilateral Commission. Assault weapons are required to prevent this take over. What the U.S. Army is doing while all this is happening is never quite clear.

Most sportsmen don't believe this. Yet their dues are being used to promote these fantasies. Let's have a new, sober, serious, non-paranoid gun organization whose members are the sane, thoughtful, responsible sportsmen who share the belief of the vast majority of Americans that assault weapons have no place in U.S. society. These mature minutemen also share the belief that state licensing of weapons, checks for criminal and mental backgrounds, and elimination of unregulated gun shows are necessary for a secure society.

We continue to spend hundreds of billions, even trillions, of tax dollars to achieve the elusive goal of national security. The movie-goers of Aurora, the little children of Newtown, were not secure. Those children are just as dead as if al Qaeda had killed them. Killing children is not a political issue: it is a moral issue.

The militia of the Constitution, now the National Guard and Reserve forces, are composed of serious, responsible citizens. Many are hunters and fishermen. They do not require an organization with a central message of paranoia to represent them. They should now form their own organization to speak for them and the great majority of gun owners would join them.