I wonder what some of the founders of the country, this wonderful union of now 50 states, thought about the right to bear arms.  I was not surprised to quickly find quotes from Thomas Jefferson that are clear and concise.

Let’s begin with this one… “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.” – Thomas Jefferson, paraphrasing Cesare Beccaria, criminologist in 1764. That was 230 years ago.

It is intolerable to believe Jefferson was not in favor of the second amendment.  Many pundits believe falsely this amendment is in order to solely provide a militia, fighting for the unions and not for the defense of individual liberties.  The liberals and those who would take our rights claim hunting will always be available…I contend the second amendment is not about hunting.

I, not being of the same learned cloth as Jefferson, step aside and offer two more very valuable quotes.

“The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” – Thomas Jefferson.

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

I ask you, the citizenry of Texas, is not the right to bear arms sacred to Ameri-cans as ensconced in the Constitution? I ask you, friend, do you really believe the right to bear arms in this day, any day, boils down to the right to hunt a deer, a dove or a turkey?

I have no automatic weapons and possess only a very small arsenal of shotguns and rifles. It is illegal on many levels for me or any other normal and law-abiding citizen to possess such an automatic firearm, but I continually ask myself why this is.

In the extraordinary wisdom of the people in charge of the citizenry of the United States, legislatures and assemblies have seen to it that law abiding citizens should not possess these weapons. 

I am going to let you in on a little secret: the bad guys, the really bad guys, have all they care to have.  A law forbidding any firearm for a thug… a murderer… a rapist… a burglar… is no law at all.

In speaking with a colleague of mine, I asked the question “Who would have the guns if all guns were outlawed?”  Naively, she stated the only the police would be armed.  Well, nice try.

One of the many reasons the second amendment was established for the peace of the country and the ability for the citizens of the new nation to overthrow, when necessary, a tyrannical government.

During the 1930s, the Nazis were quickly able to determine the Jews owned firearms.  Many other European countries re-quired permitting to own and possess a firearm.  When Poland was invaded, records were quickly sifted through to find those with weapons…what a nice and polite welcoming gift to the Reich. 

President Bill Clinton came out in favor of the registration of all law-abiding American gun owners. “People ought to have to register guns like they register their cars,” he said.  I see registration nowhere in the second amendment for any of the liberties detailed.  To the detriment of the country and individual liberty, many other presidents of the recent past believe and still believe all weapons should be registered.

Of course, individuals who have committed crimes of a violent or heinous nature give up their right to bear arms, as felons give up their right to vote, drunks to drive, etc.  Individuals who sell to criminals through a retail or private transaction should also be severely punished.

I believe most law-

makers to simply be looking out for the citizens of the country and in their attempt to do the “right thing,” they carelessly disregard our only means of defense if necessary.  Registration is wrong, anyway you look at it.  These lawmakers just happen to be the same ones who will look up registrants if the time comes for disarmament of the citizenry of the United States.

We are not to any point, not even close, to when we will need these rights. I simply believe our rights ought not be discounted out of hand… no matter who is in the White House.

Art Veneris is production manager of the Brownwood Bulletin. He writes his column for the Brownwood Bulletin on Thursdays. He may be reached by e-mail at art.veneris@brownwood