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Letter: In defense of second amendment rights

Letter to The Aegis

5:55 PM EST, February 12, 2013

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I am a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights and have been following the recent debates.

In my opinion, there should be a reasonable middle ground that would protect Second Amendment rights and provide a safer environment for all Americans.

The past actions of the NRA support the Second Amendment, gun safety and education, background checks and restrictions on possession of weapons by certain persons. That is proper supervision of weapons when used by minors, and restriction from possession by criminals and those with emotional problems.

Law-abiding members of the NRA have justifiable concerns for their rights when they consider history and recent events, read proposed legislation and hear statements from the other side many of which would destroy the Second Amendment. When I read the proposed laws, I have many concerns. At the time of the Constitutional Convention, an assault weapon was a single shot musket. If these laws are passed, interpretation may ban the shotgun I use to hunt waterfowl, or the pistol I rent for target practice.

Although I am in favor of background checks, I am opposed to gun registration. This is just a tax on owners that is an effort to control gun ownership and is similar to poll taxes that in the past were used to restrict voting. A tax on legally-owned weapons in the form of registration fees is an assault on the Second Amendment and a violation of privacy.

Laws affecting gun ownership and use, such as those on background checks, should be efficient. With modern technology, background checks should be accurate, concise, confidential and rapidly processed.

One argument I heard from the other side, is that I did not have a right to gun ownership for protection until a certain Supreme Court decision. I feel that my right for self defense was not given to me by any court or legislative body. It was not given to me by the Constitutional Convention. These bodies just acknowledge the right.

All persons are born with this right and many other civil liberties that are either acknowledged or restricted by their governments. The Second Amendment is simple and clear in its acknowledgment of my right to bear arms.

Howard Bond

Fallston