I read the Monday letter, “Tyranny remains a threat today,” quoting Thomas Jefferson: “The strongest reason for the people to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” First, there is no evidence that Jefferson ever said this. Second, does anyone in the U.S. seriously believe this? That the main reason we must allow nearly unlimited ownership of guns, is to protect ourselves from the government? Although this may have been a rational concern in 1776, it is an irrational concern in 2013 — if not a symptom of paranoid delusion.
I am much, much more concerned with the threat posed by those who own assault weapons, handguns, and high-capacity magazines, than my own government. As I write this at 7:30 a.m., I am listening to yet another news report on TV of a gun killing overnight in Seattle. And the same issue of the Herald in which the letter appears, reports five shot and killed in New Mexico by a 15 year-old, and a robbery at gun-point in Portland, Ore.
It is time that gun owners, legal and illegal, recognize that the rest of us have rights too — to be kept safe from them. And that is a rational concern.