Letter to the Editor: Think harder about the ‘well’

To the Editor:

19 students and 2 teachers — 21 victims — were shot dead in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. “A well-regulated militia” is the first 21 letters of the Second Amendment.

No one seems to pay attention to the second word of the Second Amendment – “well.”

How do no background checks at gun shows, no digital records of weapons, no database of weapon owners and no professional management of weapons in this country fit the label of “well regulated.” To quote Flavor Flav of the hip hop rap group Public Enemy, the ATF’s National Tracking Center, or NTC, “is a joke.” Before you get too flustered by my claims of “no records,” read up on the NTC’s NRA-imposed non-digital limitations. This organization is forced to operate at a level of inefficiency that marvels the mind.

The Second Amendment is one of the areas of the Constitution of the United States of America lacking natural grammar, punctuations, and clarity — that fit our more modern usages — but it does not lack its very clear opening claim. There may be some gray areas for future legislative decisions on who and how to ‘regulate’ the militia, but it does not say that it shouldn’t be regulated at all. Actually, it compels the government and the public to regulate it. Ever since Ronald Reagan foolishly claimed that government was the problem, that we should “starve the beast,” and that regulation was a bad thing, Americans have consistently evolved into a dumber and dumber body politic on the topics of government and regulation.

What America needs is less United States? Is that what we think? The job of the government should be to give itself a pink slip? These funny ideas become oxymoronic when taken seriously. You might listen to your doctor complain about the silly, stupid bureaucracy of medical licensure, but I sure want a doctor who has been trained, monitored and approved by professional curriculum and standards.

Reagan didn’t see a large US military — which for the record replaced the militias of the Second Amendment whether we like it or not — or the massive U.S. police forces as a problem. He did not starve those beasts. Instead, he pumped their budgets to enormous, nearly comically ridiculous, heights. And he euphemistically used “deregulation” and “regulation reform” to decrease his funding of other government programs and departments.

Regulation is what a constitution does. Regulation is what a government does. Regulation is what a state does. Regulation is what “civilized” means.

Laws create ‘walls’ that restrict and regulate people from over-exercising their perceived liberties — that they have because of the creation of their constitutional-governed, ‘rule of law’ states — all over the ‘faces’ of other people.

Liberties are a good thing, but they only create freedom, safety and security for civilized people when they are part of a ‘rule of law’ and in a ‘state of regulation.’ This includes an armed militia. The right to bear arms is not ‘absolute.’ It comes with purposes and regulations. It did not create a ‘cowboy culture’ that says that everyone is free to personally secure their own liberty with any weapon they choose in any environment they so choose.

Why are guns so ‘regulated’ on commercial airlines, in bars in Texas and in the Oval Office?

This example illustrates the point: “I know it is 3 a.m. and I was not invited, but I would like to go into the Oval Office so the president can say ‘hello to my little friend.’” Gun regulation starts in the Oval Office of the White House, and it moves out from there.

“A well-regulated Militia” is 21 letters that should be a lesson to everyone about the lives ridiculously killed in Robb Elementary School, all while surrounded by dozens of armed police officers who are now being ‘protected’ by the Texas “dead suspect loophole.” Guns are ubiquitous, rather than ‘regulated,’ all over America because loopholes let too many people get them and loopholes allow the police to hide how they cannot control them in an unregulated, over-armed cowboy-police-state.

The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to use regulation to keep him from having it. The NRA abuses its version of this quote to create a false situation. Their version is based on a presupposition that ‘regulation’ is not allowed. We can stop all guns from entering the Oval Office by way of ‘regulation.’ Regulation starts the Second Amendment and it should start our conversation about how to keep Americans in all the states safe and secure from the Oval Office to the rest of America, including all around their classrooms.

Alan Hagedorn