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Friday, October 9, 2015

Speaking of Violence

Dear Cousin Vinnie:

Yesterday I participated in the Metro IAF attack on Obama for doing nothing on gun control except "whine" about congress. Check out EJ Dionne's article in the Post.

Now I know you bought a gun for defense and are a member of the NRA and totally distrust any thing that Obama would recommend and would be against any kind of regulation on guns. I, on the other hand, see guns as a public health issue, as are automobiles, and like to see government regulations on automobiles (including licensing, drivers education, and the use of safety technology such as mirrors, lights, keys, tires, brakes, seat belts). I would also like to see regulation on the manufacture and use of guns. I am not advocating eliminating guns nor automobiles. Just making them safer. Would you want to eliminate all government regulation of automobiles as well as of guns? (Of course by "government," I mean all of us working together and setting the rules by which we can and do live and work together.)

But I am wondering if, even though we probably disagree on regulation for safety of guns and automobiles and food, we could find a common action to go for. How about this? I think we both support the Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." We understand the historical reason for this amendment in the light of the British denial of the rights of volunteers to join state militias that could challenge the British army or keep the peace against other hostile forces. But of course, the amendment says "well regulated Militia."

Perhaps we could agree on proposing an amendment to drop the words "well regulated" because that seems to imply government regulation: e.g. who belongs, who commands, what rules do they work by, what kind of arms can they use, do they need to be trained, permitted (licensed), and organized. In proposing a constitutional amendment on the amendment, perhaps the American people could decide if they want any regulation at all and if so what it should be.  Or maybe we should drop "militias" as well since the amendment was written before we had a standing army. But that would mean dropping the Second Amendment as a whole.

So would you join an effort from both the right, left, and center of the political spectrum to remove the words "well regulated" from the Second Amendment so we can either remove any regulation on making, buying, and using guns and militias or better stipulate what those regulations should be?

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