Weapons in­tended only for war now in­flict­ing ca­su­al­ties on our peo­ple

The Enterprise - - Community Forum -

Our found­ing fa­thers prob­a­bly have been turn­ing over in their graves for decades over the lack of unity in Congress. The po­lar­iza­tion of the op­pos­ing par­ties was go­ing on long be­fore the cur­rent fuel on the fire won in 2016. Like him or hate him, he is the pres­i­dent.

Af­ter the Great Mills High School shoot­ing in March, I wrote a let­ter to the ed­i­tor in which I said the first school shoot­ing I re­mem­ber was Pa­d­u­cah, Ky., in 1998. A year later it was Columbine, Colo., where two idiots raised the aware­ness of what was to come. My son was amazed to learn that there were no school shoot­ings un­til I was an adult. Af­ter the Park­land, Fla., school shoot­ing ear­lier this year, the sur­viv­ing stu­dents or­ga­nized and con­vinced the Florida leg­is­la­ture to amend their state’s firearm’s laws. Then the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion sued Florida. I am glad that our state gov­ern­ment stood its ground and sided with Florida.

Some­thing needs to change when our own weapons of war are in­flict­ing more ca­su­al­ties on Amer­i­cans than what they what they were in­tended to do: Pro­tect our free­dom.

It may be hard for some to be­lieve, but our coun­try was founded on our own stub­born­ness. We wanted free­dom. A lot tran­spired to gain our in­de­pen­dence and our con­sti­tu­tional rights.

Six weeks af­ter the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence was signed, 391 Mary­land troops gave their lives for our free­dom. It was in Brook­lyn on Aug. 27, 1776, when the newly minted Amer­i­can Army had its first test. Out­num­bered 15,000 to 3,500, there were also 1,000 Hes­sian mer­ce­nar­ies on the Bri­tish side, ea­ger to get the bounty for dead Amer­i­cans. On the field, un­der Gen. Wil­liam Small­wood of Charles County were 400 Mary­land troops, who turned and at­tacked the Hes­sians six times. Nine of our men came out alive Please read Linda Reno’s book, “The Mary­land 400,” for this riv­et­ing his­tory les­son, Linda is from Char­lotte Hall and im­mor­tal­ized our state’s heroes of the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War.

Amaz­ingly, it took un­til World War II be­fore weapons killed more sol­diers than dis­ease. In the Civil War, di­ar­rhea and dysen­tery killed the most sol­diers. In World War I, it was the Span­ish flu epi­demic that killed 55 per­cent of our troops — go and look at the memo­rial to the St. Mary’s County troops in Leonard­town this Sun­day for Vet­er­ans Day. Seven out of 28 county boys’ deaths were from dis­ease. I be­lieve the steam­boats helped our lo­cal boys sur­vive by in­tro­duc­ing them to the ur­ban germs.

Some­thing needs to change, be­sides the cli­mate. Please urge your elected of­fi­cials to help save Amer­i­can lives and put some lim­its on our Sec­ond Amend­ment.

Thank you to ev­ery­one who has ever put on a uni­form, be it mil­i­tary or first re­spon­der, and happy Vet­er­ans Day.

Please don’t for­get the an­nual pa­rade Sun­day in Leonard­town at 10 a.m.

Jonathan Beasley, Budds Creek

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