Letter: Balancing Gun Rights and Safety

To the Editor:

The recent spate of gun-related violence raises anew questions about what our society can and should do to combat this alarming problem. Advocates for essentially free access to guns often cite the Second Amendment as the basis for their support.

In Richard Patterson’s novel No Safe Place, a character asserted the following view of the Second Amendment: “The notion that James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights so that racists and sociopaths and madmen could slaughter innocent men, women and children with assault weapons or handguns is one of the most contemptible notions that an irresponsible minority has ever crammed down the throats of its potential victims.”

May we hope that responsible gun owners and advocates will take a fresh look at how, as a society, we can ensure the safety of fellow citizens while preserving the “rights” guaranteed to all.

Walter Reeves