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Front Page July 11, 2017  RSS feed

The Right to Bear Arms

By Sherry Matney

Glenn Hightower, Buffalo City Council member and former Buffalo Police Chief, instructs students on the importance of handgun safety. Sherry’s Shots Glenn Hightower, Buffalo City Council member and former Buffalo Police Chief, instructs students on the importance of handgun safety. Sherry’s Shots Last Tuesday we celebrated the birth of this nation with a 241st birthday party. On July 4, 1776 our forefathers declared their independence from England and formed the United States of America. On March 4, 1789 The Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the U.S., became effective and on December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was adopted, having been ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Included in the Bill of Rights is the 2nd amendment assuring the People of the United States the right to keep and bear arms.

I’m sure I must have read the Constitution of the United States and its Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments) sometime in my rather mediocre career as a high school student. Most likely, as I scanned the extremely important documents I was thinking about whether my bobby sox looked as good as everyone else’s or if my ponytail worked with the, very cool, turned up collar on my new pink and black striped shirt. History was something I was forced to endure and, certainly, what happened two hundred years before could not possibly have an application in the ultra-modern world of the late 1950’s.

So when I looked up the Bill of Rights while researching this article, I was completely surprised to see the “Second Amendment” is only one sentence long; only one sentence but an incredibly powerful sentence.

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 reason for my sudden interest in the “2nd Amendment” is because I recently took a class to qualify me to carry a weapon. This began when my husband, Paul, won a door prize at the Flo Volunteer Fire Department fish fry, which allowed him to take a License to Carry class from Glenn Hightower, a well known and respected law enforcement veteran who lives in this area. The prospect of the class seemed interesting so I decided to tag along. At that point I don’t think I realized that I must make a passing score on target shooting in order to be considered proficient at using a weapon.

My history using any kind of gun was limited to shooting a twenty-two rifle at cans on a fence post with my cousins, and the only living creature I have ever aimed toward was a starling that was pestering my martins. Since I recently discovered that starlings are a protected bird you will never know if my shot was successful!

Once we signed up for the class the next item on the agenda was to buy a handgun that I could shoot. Paul owns a 357 Magnum revolver that shoots both 357 and 38 caliber bullets, but I was afraid I could not handle a gun that large. (It looks like a gun Matt Dillon or Wyatt Earp would carry strapped on their waist.) Continued next week.

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