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In the days of muskets and swords, when the 6-pounder artillery piece was the most fearsome weapon on the battlefield, these arms in the hands of a well-regulated militia were rightly seen as preservative of our freedoms and a bulwark against tyranny. In current times, the possession by the general public of advanced military-grade weapons specifically designed to efficiently kill humans is preservative of nothing and is in truth destructive to our most basic freedoms and rights.

The opponents of gun control would have you believe that any attempt at gun control is an attack on individual freedoms that will inexorably lead to a destruction of all liberties. This argument is an absurd extrapolation that ignores the heartbreaking facts; these weapons have and continue to deprive so many of all their rights and freedoms by taking their lives.

The founding document of this nation, a document that predates our Constitution, our forefathers established the basic axiom on which our society is based: “We hold these truths to be self-evident ... that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”

In our responsibility as a society to secure these unalienable rights by finding balance in rights and freedoms of everyone, we have failed miserably. What right to life and liberty remains for the slaughtered children? What chance at happiness is there for the parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents of those children who died in blood-soaked classrooms?

While the question of if gun control, by itself, is enough to stop these horrors is valid, how anyone can continue to argue against removing the type of weapons that make the slaughter so easy is incomprehensible at this point.

Bill Mahar, Warrensburg