LETTERS: Debating the Second Amendment

Ever since the mid 1960s when the NRA changed it stance from being pro-gun control to being against it, and the AR-15 prototype was offered for sale to the public; mass shootings, until recent years have been an almost annual occurrence. Note that prior to 1966 there were four in the United States but last year there were over 345. So far in 2018, there have been 30 mass shooting.

So who am I to be writing this letter? I am a 74-year-old retired professional who never hunted defenseless animals, except rats and gophers, and didn’t have the patience to wait for fish to find me. I was well-schooled in the purpose of firearms, and their safe use by the Explorer Scouts, Air Force ROTC, and the San Diego County Sheriffs Department. Am I a gun owner? Yes! Do I believe that citizens have the right to own guns for personal protection? Yes! Do I believe in fantasizing the Second Amendment to include the ownership and use of any amount of any caliber and type of weapon, including those designed for the military? Absolutely Not! We have our National Guard and police forces. let them be the “well disciplined militia” responsible for the handling and use of military-style weapons. Do I believe those weapons should be confiscated from civilian hands? Yes!

So what do we do to stop future mass violence? It begins at home where every child should be taught the dangers of a gun. We teach that, unlike a video game, when you “kill” someone you can’t press reset for them to live again. We teach that the only purpose for the vast majority of guns is to kill and in military applications to do it as efficiently as possible. We teach that it is a tool with no intrinsic beauty, and was designed for killing strictly as the last resort. We reinforce that its use is not a way of settling a disagreement or debt, and that the adoration of firearms is a false religion practiced by fools. What do we do about the NRA members who can’t stop this adoration? Nothing. I am afraid they are lost to the irrational world of violence as a solution.

Ned Sheats, Mission

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I’ve seen “Schindler’s List.” Even though the reality was worse than depicted in the movie, it shows how to slaughter 6 million people: Take away their guns. People are more willing to walk into a gas chamber if they are defenseless. Many police have never shot anyone. They know, and you know, they can. That makes all the difference. God bless the NRA for defending the Second Amendment. Congress can always pass more laws. Killers and criminals don’t seem to care.

Clint Williams, Edcouch

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