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I would like to take this opportunity to answer the question raised by a March 17 letter: "Why do civilians need any military weapons?"
Why do we need a weapon like an AK-47 or any semi-automatic weapon? The answer is simple. To regulate the militia. Article 1 section 8 clause 15 of the U.S. Constitution, grants Congress the power to provide for the calling forth of the militia, to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrection and repel Invasions. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 further empowers Congress: "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia ..."
The militia is clearly defined by the original Constitution to be under the authority of the federal government. The 2nd Amendment was added four years later because the individual states did not feel comfortable with this arrangement.
If the federal government can bear arms, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A free society cannot exist if only certain groups are allowed to protect themselves as they see fit. Armed citizens are the only assurance against tyranny.