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Opinion

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Armed populace keeps leaders in line

Among the key disclosures during the on-going gun control debate is the amazing lack of historical knowledge of the Constitution ("Obama pledges fight for gun laws," Jan. 17). When apparently well-educated political leaders such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York argue that constitutional gun rights were to protect hunting and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia states that they were conceived to defend against foreign invasion, it reveals some serious gaps in American education.

Founding fathers as politically diverse as Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson stated clearly that armed self-defense under the Second Amendment was to warn corruptible rulers of their limits. Rulers are no less corruptible than any of us ordinary citizens — perhaps more so given their power. Modern tyrants are far more efficient than any in the days of the founding fathers.

When the current administration, for example, carries out its program of religious cleansing of historic Christianity from business, family law, humanitarian and medical services, it only serves to heighten suspicions that other motives may well lie behind calls for yet more gun controls. Rulers still need reminders that their power is not absolute.

Charles A. Clough, Bel Air

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