, Gloucester, MA


January 25, 2013

Outdoors: Gun Control Debate

Memo to the NRA

Please...Stop...You are embarrassing yourself!

There are times in life when political rhetoric and plays to the base have to give way to reasoned discourse. The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is only the most recent in a string of horrors where innocent children and young adults have been slaughtered by a deranged person. We gun owners have to be ready to accept that with the Second Amendment there comes an incredible responsibility.

Last Wednesday President Obama put forth many recommendations which he feels would help curb gun violence in America. Responsible gunners need to join with him to support many of those recommendations.

I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment. Regular readers will remember that several years ago I wrote a five-part series in this paper on the history of the Second Amendment. Those columns received more letters to the editor than almost any single issue we have ever raised.

I stated then and believe it even more so now that we as a nation need to attack the culture of gun violence. Gun owners like myself need to step forward and say that there needs to be more restrictions on who can own a gun, what guns and ammunition should be available to the general public, and to support a new approach to the treatment of mental illness.

In the Heller decision rendered in 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have the right to keep handguns in their home for self defense.

In December of this past year, the Seventh Circuit Court held that the “bear” part of “to keep and bear” arms meant that the ruling had to be extended outside the home as well. I only bring this up to point out that the interpretation of what is permissible under the Second Amendment is far from settled.

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