We need gun laws appropriate for our times

Editor:

With Obama's re-election, the Far Right has doubled down on its lies about the president, still claiming that he will confiscate our guns, put dissenters in concentration camps and establish an Islamic state under Sharia Law. These insane views account for the mass surge in gun sales, eagerly promoted by an NRA in league with the gun industry. In its formative days, the NRA emphasized gun safety and gun control, and even now the great majority of NRA members support reasonable restrictions. But, led by Wayne La Pierre, the NRA is now owned by the gun industry, not the membership. The United States has 5 percent of the world's population but 50 percent of the world's guns. Eighty-four percent of murders worldwide are committed in the United States. Yet La Pierre's response to the horrific slaughter of little children in their Connecticut school is to arm school personnel. He will not consider banning assault weapons designed for military use, or even limiting clips to 10 rounds.

The opening restrictive clause of the Second Amendment reflects the founders' concern for how vulnerable our nation, in its weak infancy, was to the continuing colonial ambitions of the European powers. the War of 1812 with England, that we nearly lost, confirmed the founders' fears. The Army of the Revolution had even mostly disbanded and sent home. Thus, the urgent need for a militia in reserve readiness until an adequate military force could be established to secure the safety of our fledgling country.

"A well regulated militia" indicates that the militia was intended as an arm of the federal government. This provision is reaffirmed in Article I (15, 16 of Section 8) defining the powers of Congress: "To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions," and "to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia ...."

Our regulated National Guard has replaced the regulated militia. The founders always intended that gun ownership by individuals be subject to regulations, as a privilege, not an absolute right. We need national gun laws, appropriate to our times, that transcend the widely varied state laws. Let's do it.

Denton May

Dolores

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