Should citizens have the same weapons as the government?

Posted on Jan. 12, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Correspondent Mark Shephard visited Osceola this week and asked, “Weaponry consisted of muskets and pistols in the era of our Founding Fathers. How should this historical fact be considered as our current government leaders debate automatic assault weapons within the context of the Second Amendment?”

Mike Holloway, general manager, Middlebury:

“The reason the Second Amendment was placed in the Constitution was to give citizens the ability to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. And I think our Founding Fathers rightfully believed that law-abiding citizens ought to have the same weaponry as the government. Now, do I believe we should have the howitzers and tanks and nuclear weapons? No. However, the Constitution, I believe, guarantees an individual citizen the right to bear the arms necessary to overthrow, or defend itself against a tyrannical government.”

Bobby Gilley, retired mill worker, Elkhart:

“Assault weapons shouldn’t be allowed. That’s for the Army. That’s for our military, not for regular civilians. That’s over-power. You’re not going to hunt with them, you shouldn’t have them.” Follow-up question: Do you think our federal government should amend the Second Amendment? “Yes, on that part alone. But as far as being able to arm yourself, no. You should be able to have rifles for hunting. And yes, you should be able to protect your home. But as far as assault rifles, machine guns, and all that stuff, we have no use for them in the civilian life.”

Kathy Bogucki, retired factory worker, Elkhart:

“The use of guns was different than they are now. We need them for home protection, but we don’t need those big assault weapons with so many bullets.” Follow-up question: Should automatic assault weapons be available to the average person who wants to go buy one? “Not for the use that they’re being used for. If they want them for the military and like that, yes, but not for personal use in your homes.”

Bobbi Laughlin, sign maker, Michigan City:

“I think even back then it took common sense for those that were behind the weapon to know how to shoot, and to know what they were doing.” Follow-up question: Should everyone be able to go out and purchase assault weapons? “Regular guns, I think, are fine. But no, I don’t think there’s a reason why we would need assault weapons and the bigger guns. Why we would need those? I mean, for personal protection, a small gun would be fine — a handgun, that sort of thing. But I don’t think anybody needs the assault weapons except for the military and that sort of thing.”

Gregg Doud, graphics technician, Niles, Mich.:

“If you look back to when our country was being fought for — I think of the movie ‘The Patriot’ — the citizens were being decimated by the British until such time that they had weapons that were comparable to the people they were fighting. Likewise today, if we don’t keep up with what the military has got — and I’m not saying we have to have everything they have — but we have to be able to put up a reasonable resistance of firepower in the event that we have a tyrannical government. A lot of people don’t believe that our government would turn on us, but in every instance though out history — if you look at Stalin and Hitler — wherever they’ve disarmed the people, the government has come down on people, and have ruled with an iron thumb. Little by little they take away liberty, so we don’t need high-powered weapons for everyday use, but we need to have the right to reserve and keep them.”

Recommended for You

Back to top ^