Not Just an “Accident”
On January 7 my son [William C. Dominguez] was killed on Highway 17 going north about 1 mile outside of Georgetown by a vehicle, also going north. Your paper describes my son as a bicyclist and also as a pedestrian.
He was riding from Florida to New Jersey as he had done on five prior occasions, He had also biked to Alaska, Newfoundland twice, California from Michigan twice, and numerous times between Florida and Michigan.
He was an experienced bicyclist who had traveled over 260,000 miles on various bicycles. He was aware of the dangers of biking but also aware of his rights and responsibilities sharing the road with vehicles. He always rode with high intensity lights front and rear to minimize the hazards of biking.
I visited the scene of the accident. I commend the “cleanup” of the scene by whoever was responsible for such a duty. However, because of the severity of the “accident” it would have been almost impossible for anyone to pick up all of the “debris” scattered for almost 60-80 yards.
I picked up pieces of personal clothing and bike parts that were far removed from the point of impact. It was almost as if a tornado had struck my son riding his bike. There were no tire marks anywhere near the point of impact, no evidence of a driver attempting to panic stop or steer the vehicle to avoid the killing of my son. An actual tornado would also have left nothing but the aftermath damage with property and bodies scattered throughout a wide area.
When a vehicle hits another vehicle, the word “accident” is used; when the struck vehicle is hit from behind there are usually legal consequences. When a vehicle strikes a bicyclist from behind it is called an accident, usually with no consequences other than a prescribed investigation.
The law is quite clear on the rights and responsibilities of riding a bicycle as well as the rights and responsibilities of a vehicle driver. Quite often bicyclists are intimidated and cursed for riding on the road by vehicle drivers ignorant of the law, despite the fact that to be a licensed driver knowledge of the rights of bicyclists is required.
“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 framers of the Constitution of the United States of America were quite emphatic in their recognition of the importance of maintaining an armed citizenry. If fact, they were so emphatic in this imperative that the above quote is the second amendment (out of ten) found in the Bill of Rights of the founding document of our Republic. Recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme court (District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008) have confirmed that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia.
The question posited by many, in light of recent tragic events, has to do with the “need” or “reason” for a civilian populace to possess firearms capable of utilizing high capacity magazines. Many opinions on this subject have been voiced over the past several weeks and I am grateful that the Georgetown Times has afforded me an opportunity to share some of my own opinions on this sensitive subject.
A recent letter to the editor from Bernadine Bader of Pawleys Island emphatically stated: “There is no reason whatsoever for semi-automatic weapons and high-power magazines to be in the hands of civilians. None.”
I disagree with this assertion. While Ms. Bader may feel that she has no “need” or “reason” to possess a semi-automatic firearm or a high capacity magazine, there are others who feel that they have very legitimate reasons for possession of such inventory.
As an example, a rancher living in East Texas may very much feel the “need” and “reason” to own a semi-automatic firearm with a high capacity magazine in order to protect his crops from marauding herds of wild hogs or from packs of coyotes that attack his livestock. A home owner may feel the “need” and “reason” to own a semi-automatic firearm with a high capacity magazine to protect their home and family from falling victim to a gang of home invaders who are intent on committing unspeakable atrocities. Other individuals may feel the “need” and “reason” to own a semi-automatic firearm with a high capacity magazine to ensure their safety against any number of threats that may materialize in an uncertain world with an uncertain future.
The “need” of, or “reason” for, an individual to possess a semi-automatic firearm is a relative argument. However, the right of an individual to possess such an item is an absolute, and is guaranteed by the Second Amendment. The second amendment is quite clear and eloquent in its concise simplicity and definition of an individual’s rights.
The framers knew the importance of, and the inexorable link between, liberty and self-defense. Having suffered tremendous hardship under the military boot of the British Crown, the framers knew that a properly armed society stood a much better chance of maintaining itself as a free society than an improperly armed society. Musket vs. Musket can fight off oppression much more effectively than Pitchfork vs. Musket. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with an American’s right to shoot a moose or a duck, but it has everything to do with that American’s right to defend self, family and property from all threats, be they man or beast.
For readers naive enough to think that the Second Amendment is “outdated” thinking which was concocted by a group of elitist, slave owning, white bigots, and that the world has “changed” and therefore the Constitution needs to change, I leave you to ponder this: Although the world has changed, humanity has not. The human species has been, and continues to be, the most aggressive, self-destructive and self-serving species on the face of the planet — capable of unimaginable and unspeakable acts upon itself. History has shown that, even in today’s “modern” world, evil men seek power and riches at the expense of the weak. This was true in 1789, and it was true in the 20th Century:
1911 – Turkey Enacted Gun Control. Between 1915-1917 1.5 Million Armenians were executed by the regime
1929 – The Soviet Union Enacted Gun Control. Between 1929-1953 20 Million citizens were executed under Stalin’s regime
1935 – China enacted Gun Control. Between 1948-1952 70 Million citizens were executed under Mao’s regime
1938 – Germany enacted Gun Control. Between 1939-1945 13 Million Jews and others in Germany were executed under Hitler’s regime.
1956 – Cambodia enacted Gun Control. Between 1975-1977 1.2 Million citizens were executed under the Pol Pot regime
1964 – Guatemala enacted Gun Control. Between 1964-1981 100,000 indigenous people were executed under the regime
1970 – Uganda enacted Gun Control. Between 1970-1979 300,000 citizens (mostly Christians) were executed under the Amin regime
Roughly 106 Million men, women and children were rounded up by their government and summarily executed in the 20th Century. There are two common denominators:
1. Evil men, leading evil governments, whose lust for power and control knows no limits.
2. The enactment of gun control prior to these collective orgies of carnage.
The Framers of the Constitution were brilliant men who studied history and whose ideas were forged in the crucible of tyranny. Their ideas, codified in our country’s founding documents, are (and should be) timeless across generations. And although society and technology have evolved over the past 224 years, the framers were sage enough to know that human nature (and the ugliness of it) would not.
Jeffrey C. Shields
Government taking away rights
I would like to address an issue gripping the nation at this time. Actually two issues but only one in the overall scheme of things.
The issue is our (as in the free people of the United States) rights being systematically disassembled by our own government. They are doing this under the guise of our protection. This is where it gets really interesting since our government is the ones we seem to need protection from.
First there is tons of government spending on only the Lord knows what because we sure don't and I don't think half of them do either. Next our delegated monies are being and have been used for purposes to support our government’s endeavors whatever they may be. Instead of taking our funds and raising our taxes why don't they cut their salaries and expenditures?
I mean come on, we pay them a salary and they get all expenses paid too, it's no wonder we are so far in debt. Let them live and do their jobs the same as we and pay them the average blue collar worker’s wage and let’s see just how long it takes to put things in the proper perspective and the budget begins to correct itself.
Now they think "Let’s raise the debt ceiling again by invoking the 14th amendment." Isn't it just lovely the way they use the constitution and our other founding documents when it suits their purposes, but when it comes to our 2nd amendment rights they could care less?
To all the families that have suffered a loss to a gun-related death I do solemnly offer my condolences. It is tragic and horrifying the loss of so many especially the young and innocent; however, an infringement upon our rights will not correct or erase what was done.
A weapon of any kind whether it's a gun, knife or ball bat has never hurt one single individual unless a person is wielding it. I nor has anyone else ever seen any gun leave the cabinet, load itself and commit a crime of its own accord.
Our government seems to think banning and confiscation of weapons will be the cure-all as if they were some bad person we need to lock up or send into exile. People kill people folks on purpose or accident by recklessness or any number of reasons that could only be explained by the people who performed the act and that is what needs to be addressed, the why and how not always the with what.
The weapon could be anything. Maybe we should ban cars, so many people are killed by them every year maybe cars are the villains just as the government has deemed guns. No, they won't consider that it's ludicrous, cars bring functionality to the well-being of the nation. Guns on the other hand give people peace of mind, it can help provide food for the table and protection against those who wish harm to us, our families and neighbors whether they be foreign or domestic.
Our government monitors us as if we were prisoners of our own nation, next they are going to police us with our own military.
Connect the dots folks, open your eyes to what is coming. Use your voice. We are the people. This is a nation of, for and by the people. We seem to have forgotten it. It was the people with their own weapons that helped liberate this country. It seems as long as what we have can be used to suit the government’s needs we are assets, but as soon as they think they can do as they please we as assets become expendable along with our rights.
Shouldn't we have a say in what we think are best for us? Our government doesn't think we are capable of such an act. They can't even manage the money we entrusted to them.
Do you know that they are now calling our Social Security a government benefit. A benefit? Didn’t we and our employers pay that in order to insure our monetary security when we needed it? It wasn't theirs to spend and it's no benefit to receive it.
Speak up folks this is our nation, our rights, our privileges, our government — ours, ours, ours — and if we give up anything we won’t get it back.
Fight my proud American family for what is ours.
Donald Parsons III
Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.
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