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Fearful or not, Americans have a right to own a gun | READER COMMENTARY

Owner Robin Ball at Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop in Spokane, Wash., Nov. 4, 2019. A year after the coronavirus pandemic began, the toll of self-inflicted gun deaths has led to an unusual alliance between suicide-prevention advocates and gun-rights proponents; together they are devising new strategies to prevent suicide in a population committed to the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.
Owner Robin Ball at Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop in Spokane, Wash., Nov. 4, 2019. A year after the coronavirus pandemic began, the toll of self-inflicted gun deaths has led to an unusual alliance between suicide-prevention advocates and gun-rights proponents; together they are devising new strategies to prevent suicide in a population committed to the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. (Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)

I am writing in response to your editorial, “Rising gun sales put more lives at risk” (Dec. 7). The right to own and possess a firearm is protected by the United States Constitution, and the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that basic right in both Heller v. District of Columbia and McDonald v. City of Chicago. Whether people are scared of the lockdowns caused by COVID-19 or the riots that occurred this past year throughout the country, it should not matter. It is a right guaranteed by the Constitution, like the right to vote.

It should be noted that with this large increase in gun ownership, there has not been a corresponding increase in the number of “mass shootings,” accidental shootings and (even as acknowledged by The Sun), suicides.

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Further regulation of who can own guns and when will only result in law abiding people complying. Criminals do not abide by the laws, that is why they are criminals. If only the police could get the illegal guns off the street, maybe there would not be such an interest in more Americans owning guns.

Edward N. Hershon, Annapolis

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