To the Editor:
An open letter to President Obama, Governor Pence and the citizens of Indiana:
Just the other night, I heard an elected official, who had been an Indiana sheriff, being interviewed by a television news channel.
This official was upset that the federal government was trying to regulate weapons sales and possession.
I agree. This is not a function of the federal government.
Since the recent events in Connecticut, there has been much debate about the "right to bear arms."
As frequently happens when someone quotes a source, they are only quoting a part of the source.
The Constitution of the United States, in Amendment II, states in whole:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The Militia at the time the Constitution was drafted was controlled by each state's governor and has evolved into today's National Guard, which is still controlled by each state's governor.
It seems to me there is an easy answer to today's issue of access to "military grade weapons," by the general public.
Granted, each state could not afford to pay every man and woman in the state to be a part of the state's National Guard, but the state could formalize the "well regulated Militia," and require ever person who was a resident of the state to be a part of an unpaid National Guard Reserve.
This could be formalized by registering every resident 18 years of age and older, anyone moving into the state and taking up formal residency and all residents as they attain the age of 18.
The only exemptions granted could be for verified medical or mental issues.
Just as many police agencies have reserve deputies who receive no pay for their service, the members of the National Guard Reserve would receive no monetary compensation, but would be issued a National Guard Reserve identification card.
Once the system is in effect, anyone purchasing a weapon from any source, anyone purchasing ammunition in any quantity, and anyone desiring to use public or private firing ranges would have to present their National Guard Reserve ID card and, in the case of weapons purchase, the validity of that card would have to be verified.
Anyone found in possession of a weapon who did not have the required ID card would have that weapon confiscated.
This system could not be challenged on a constitutional basis, since Amendment II specifies the "right to bear arms for a well regulated Militia," and those members of the "well regulated Militia," would be allowed to purchase and bear arms.
I am a combat wounded veteran who has and does defend the Constitution but who also believes not everyone has the right to arm with military grade weapons.
If you are buying these weapons to protect yourself or your country, then you should support the idea of a National Guard Reserve and be one of the first to obtain an identification card.
David W. Page,
Chief Warrant Officer,
United States Navy, Retired,