It turns out the phrase “lucky duck” has real merit. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Code of Regulations: § 20.21 What hunting methods are illegal?
“Migratory birds on which open seasons are prescribed in this part may be taken by any method except those prohibited in this section. No persons shall take migratory game birds:
(a) With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machinegun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance;(b) With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.”
That’s right, ducks are more protected than humans. A duck hunter is limited to having only three shotgun shells in his gun. Yet, anywhere in the United States, an AR-15 assault weapon can be purchased with lethal rounds totaling from 10 up to 100 rounds. A single bullet from an AR-15 leaves the weapon at nearly three times the speed of sound. The impact on a human body destroys tissue, liquefies organs, and leaves a victim with little chance of survival. Imagine 10 bullets hitting your 6-year-old child!
So what do our legislators do? Absolutely nothing but to trot out the same words of “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families.” Why is no legislation even being talked about? Maybe because the two senators for North Carolina, Ted Budd and Thom Tillis, and Rep. Chuck Edwards for Western North Carolina would rather take care of their pocketbooks than to save lives. Ted Budd owns a gun store and shooting range. Thom Tillis has received nearly $4.5 million dollars from the NRA for his campaigns. Chuck Edwards is a licensed gun dealer.
More: Opinion: When will gun violence stop? Trying to understand Edwards’ gun violence stance
More: Editor: Open call for women to share their voices, during Women’s History Month and always
After the Nashville shooting of three innocent children and three innocent adults, I emailed all three of the men listed above. Tillis, Budd and Edwards said that they were praying for the families of the victims, but they would not vote for legislation that would infringe on Second Amendment rights. This is an absolute outrage!
It is a ridiculous idea that the framers of the Constitution meant for citizens to have the right to slaughter innocent people. At the time the Constitution was written, the musket was the weapon that a citizen could own. I feel sure that the framers could not in their wildest imaginations have envisioned weapons of today…AR-15s, AK-47s, machine guns, etc.
More: Opinion: 18-year-olds to Chuck Edwards: We demand action on climate change, gun violence
More: Opinion: Now that we have 400 million guns, are we yet safe?
We must look at the historical background of why the Second Amendment was created. Our nation had spent eight years in a war with Great Britain. At the very beginning of the Revolutionary War, militias fought the British. However, it became apparent that a more unified approach was necessary, and on June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress approved the Continental Army, which was initially made up of militia groups fighting in and around Boston and additional militia from New York.
George Washington, who was made the commander of these troops quickly realized that a single standing force made up of men from all the colonies would be more effective. They would be better trained and enlisted for longer periods than militia. The Continental Congress created this first American Army in 1776. After the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the Continental Army was disbanded except for a small force to guard stores at Fort Pitt and West Point.
The Constitution passed in 1789 with the Bill of Rights being added in 1791. It wasn’t until 1792 that The Legion of the United States was created, and we know it today as the U.S. Army.
As for the Second Amendment, it reads: “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.” A militia could be called upon when necessary, and in order to arm a militia, Americans had the right to own a musket if needed for defense of the country. Never was the amendment meant as a way for citizens to slaughter innocent children and adults going about their daily lives.
So, the next time you see ducks winging their way overhead, think “Lucky Duck. They have more gun law protection than I have.”
Sharon Thames is a retired educator who has lived in the Asheville area for the past 12 years.