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Why on earth allow assault weapons?

In this file photo, three variations of the AR-15 assault rifle are displayed.
In this file photo, three variations of the AR-15 assault rifle are displayed. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

I challenge the National Rifle Association to justify what useful purpose assault rifles have in America (“How one Florida Republican came to support a ban on assault weapons after the Parkland shooting,” Feb. 27).

The Second Amendment was adopted in 1791 before the U.S. had an established military and the citizens were required to use their own arms to defend the country. The guns in existence at that time were muskets and flintlock pistols. Therefore when written, the Second Amendment only applied to muskets and flintlock pistols. In 2018, we have a large and capable military. Citizens are no longer required to defend the country with their personal weapons.

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The Second Amendment “protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” The Supreme Court has ruled the right belongs to individuals while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of firearms or similar devices. No amendment to the Second Amendment is required to outlaw and confiscate assault weapons.

The only purpose of semi-automatic assault rifles and hand guns is to kill large numbers of people in a very short time. I urge Congress to stop catering to the NRA and start protecting the citizens. Outlaw and confiscate all semi-automatic assault weapons and semi-automatic hand guns.

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Bernard Bartos, Ellicott City

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