In response to my friend Jerry Fraser’s Sept. 3 letter to the editor (“There simply are too many guns in U.S.”) about the number of guns in our country:
The argument that the Second Amendment only protects a “well-regulated militia” (and not individual rights) is incorrect. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010) that the right of individuals to own and use firearms in and outside their homes for self-defense is protected by the Second and Fourth amendments. Just like freedom of speech and all the others in the Bill of Rights.
The goal is simple (zero shootings) but progress elusive because a fruitful solution has yet to appear. “Ban them” approaches have failed to prevent these horrible murders and serves only to help politicians and voters “feel good” about doing something.
Federal prosecution of gun felons works and needs to be increased to its fullest. Criminals do fear a 10-year sentence! Community (gang) intervention has been able to reduce the shootings in urban areas. Maybe the “red-light” laws will keep guns out of the wrong hands. At least these approaches are aimed toward the source of the tragedies.
I don’t know the answer and I also believe that no one else does; yet! But painting all NRA members as blind idiots is also a disservice. I believe that two-party politics is the root cause of our failure to address many significant problems. Politics present a choice: pick a side and support it. On this issue I am a proud life-member of the NRA.