Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

June 12, 2013

Constitution was built on compromise

(Continued)

And now we are in the 21st century. We have a standing Army, a National Guard and Coast Guard and a system of public safety. We are not under attack from the Native Americans; we are not worried that Spain, France or England will try to settle in our continent. Individual gun ownership remains a right and has been reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, but reasonable restrictions are not inconsistent with the Second. The framers’ “original intent” is best described as “let’s compromise.” If the founders thought their document would be expected to be blindly adhered to and followed “without question,” then they would, without question, be astonished. They were not in any way as one. There were two primary factions and numerous splinters within both. The only way they were able to muscle this through the convention, the Congress and then ratification was by being purposefully ambiguous in the document’s meaning and intent. That way, they could sell it one way in North Carolina and another way in Rhode Island.

The brilliance of the Constitution is that it can expand and contract. The strength of our nation is built on compromise. The Second should be maintained, but unrestricted and unregulated availability, sale and ownership of any weapon needs to be addressed for the betterment of society today. We should welcome that conversation and the Constitution demands that we continue to have it.

GERRY GUSTUS

5 Fern Road

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