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To the Editor:
If a theme was to be found in last week’s Free Press Standard, it may have been that of gun ownership.  At the same time, a national debate continues over the Second Amendment and what it means to “keep and bear arms.” 

Those who defend an individual’s right to own assault weapons stand firmly on the wording of this Amendment.  However, we all readily agree that other amendments are wisely limited for the good of society.  For example, we  embrace our freedom of speech, but willingly accept that freedom of speech does not allow us to shout “Fire” in a crowded movie theater or to lie about our neighbor’s conduct in a court of law.  Could the authors of the Second Amendment have ever conceived of today’s technology in which one gunman could use a legal weapon designed for military use to murder twenty children in only moments?  If so, would even they have thought that such a weapon was rational for “home use?”

Our laws and regulations reflect the manner in which we as a society chose to live.  What do we achieve when we address the violent nature of our society by stockpiling more instruments of violence in our homes?  Assault weapons do not rationally protect our homes without increasing the probability they will be used  in an irrational fashion to do harm, either intentionally or accidentally.

We already live in an extremely dangerous country, with our chances of being killed or injured by gun astronomically higher than in any other industrialized nation.  And yet each time a violent incident occurs, we react by buying more weapons,continuing the downward spiral. Sadly, we are often manipulated into this reaction by special interest groups who have only their own best interests at stake.

The Wild West period of our nation’s history has been romanticized in books and movies but, in fact, was vicious and brutal.  To continue that legacy without restraint is both ill-conceived and self-destructive.  It defines us as a nation unable to resolve our problems by using purposeful action rather than excessive force.

Gail Walker
Carrollton, OH

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