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Dear President Obama: Dear Congressman: The United States was founded on the contemporaneously radical concept that the power of government must be derived from the people--that legitimate governmental power can only exist by the consent of the governed. Thus the Preamble to the Constitution, the document defining our government, begins, "We the People..." Abraham Lincoln would famously reassert this foundational concept by his declaration, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people..." However, the founding fathers had grave concerns about the potential anarchy in a society in which the people were the source of power. They understood that strong institutions and rule of law were necessary to provide checks and balances upon the people as well as their established government. Their concerns play out in terrible reality today in Afghanistan and Iraq (two amongst many) as well as occasionally in our own country where unregulated militias create social havoc and commit atrocities including murder regularly. Certainly, the unregulated militias do not "insure domestic tranquility" nor provide for "security of a free State." The anarchy produced by unregulated militias starkly demonstrates the apprehensions and defines the intentions of the writers of our Constitution when they wrote the 2nd Amendment in which the right to bear arms is contingent upon a citizen being a member of a "well regulated Militia." In fact, if the intention of the founding fathers was to allow the right of all citizens to keep arms then there would have been no need for the introductory clause. The amendment without the paramount leading phrase would have then read, “Being necessary for the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” In deed, the right of a citizen to bear arms is painted in the broad context that freedom is not absolute within a free society but implicitly requires responsible behavior towards one's fellow citizens. Therefore, in this context, we believe that Second Amendment arguments of the gun lobby are specious. Therefore, we believe that gun control is appropriate and constitutional. Sincerely, The Undersigned
Cary J Stegman, MD