Liberal, Anti-Bush Editor Wonders, 'What if the Second Amendment is for real?'

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Aug 09, 2007 11:46 AM
In light of the sexual assualt and murders of the women of the Petit family at the hands of brutal home invaders who also happened to be repeat offenders, Keith C. Burris says, "Time to admit the 'gun nuts' are right.":
What if the Second Amendment is for real? Is it possible that it should it be revered, just like the First Amendment?...

Is it possible that the Second Amendment is not a quaint and antiquated remnant of a world that will never return, but an idea as relevant and sound today as when it was written?

Is it possible that we are not talking about the right of the government to form a militia when there is no standing army, but the right of the individual to defend himself, or herself, against both tyranny and lawlessness? Maybe we are talking about the right of self-defense -- the right of the individual to take up arms against a government that wants to oppress, be it foreign or domestic. And the right of the individual to defend himself against criminals, brutes, and barbarians when local police seem unable to stop them.

Might the Second Amendment matter almost as much as the First?

I think the answer is yes.

And just like the First, the Second is practical, newly relevant, and far wiser than the watered-down alternatives.

I don't think George Bush wants to impose martial law on his fellow citizens. But he has diluted habeas corpus. And he has enlarged Big Brother. You have to stop and think about a government that wants to control the thoughts and behavior of its people.

Should such a government be permitted to disarm them as well?
Hey, whether it's an irrational fear of George Bush's America or the legitimate fear of recidivist brutes that convinces you that you should support the Second Amendment, I applaud it.

Here's the rest of the story on the Petit family:
Dr. William A. Petit Jr., his head bloodied and legs bound, stumbled out of a rear basement door of his two-story home here into a pouring rain, calling the name of a neighbor for help.

The neighbor heard the shouting, but so did the two men inside the house, who peeked outside from an upstairs window. They were both serial burglars with drug habits, having racked up numerous convictions for stealing car keys and pocketbooks.

This time, they took something far more precious.

The men, the authorities say, had already strangled Dr. Petit’s wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and in short order would also kill the couple’s two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. The elder suspect, Steven J. Hayes, 44, had poured gasoline on the girls and their mother, according to a lawyer and a law enforcement official involved in the case, in hopes of concealing DNA evidence of sexual assault. He had raped Ms. Hawke-Petit, and his partner, Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26, had sexually assaulted Michaela.

Moments after Dr. Petit escaped, as the house was being surrounded by police officers, the men lighted the gasoline. The girls were tied to their beds but alive when the gas Mr. Hayes had spread around the house was set aflame.