To The Editor:

Notwithstanding our own “little man” Sen. Nieves, (per the Springfield News Leader story) who describes himself as a Second Amendment protector, he and others who support his view are delusional and in a state of paranoia. They seem to think there are “barbarians at the gate” ready to storm their sandcastles, conjured up from some long ago John Birch Second Amendment screed put to memory.

The Second Amendment stipulates, “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.”

That means not to secure personal liberties, but provide for a state’s collective defense. We have developed our collective defense with a standing army and no longer maintain militias connected to the federal government.

Gentlemen, taking away the Second Amendment ain’t goin’ to happen! The majority of households in this country have a firearm and the rest of the world knows this. We provide the backup to our standing army. No other nation has this.

That being said, we as a society, choose to arm our police and Army with armament designed to protect our society. At the same time, when we allow those same weapons to be purchased by civilians and criminals we are simply asking for death and instability.

Banning assault weapons would save lives and protect our police officers on duty. This should be argued not as a limitation of our rights, but as a stand against all criminal behavior, including the so-called “patriot” groups springing up around the country brandishing assault weapons.

The benefit to society would be a positive one and allow for a more controlled enforcement of our laws. Police officers, medics, all first responders, or everyday heroes, serve America. But allowing unfettered access to assault weapons is a crazy way of expressing our gratitude to these people who serve us every day.

Tom Smith