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Letter: Our Best Protection From Tyranny

To the Editor:

When discussing attempts to legislate sensible gun-safety regulations, no one wants to discuss the elephant in the room. I do not deny the fact that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to possess guns in the home for self-defense and for legitimate reasons such as hunting, but to say that weapons of mass destruction are necessary to protect an individual against tyranny should not be considered in current deliberations. Today, such an argument borders on being seditious and unjustly maligns many of our legislators, public servants and the men and women who serve in the military to protect our freedoms. The mechanism that protects us from tyranny, as envisioned by our Founding Fathers, is to be involved with the democratic process.

An absolutist reading of the Second Amendment is a gross misrepresentation of the intent of the Founding Fathers and ignores the fact that our Constitution is a living document, which allows our country to adapt to changing times. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that while the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to keep and bear arms, it is not an absolute right and can be subjected to reasonable restrictions.

It also ignores our country’s history. We have already been there and unfortunately done that. The Civil War was fought because the South felt that its freedom to own slaves was being unjustly taken away by the federal government.

The National Rifle Association has tried to rewrite history by disseminating statements with no basis in reality, stating incorrectly that the Holocaust was a result of Adolf Hitler taking guns away from Germany’s Jews.

Our legislators have the opportunity to reduce — not eliminate, but reduce — the number of tragic injuries and deaths that result from firearms. Please seize the moment. Support:

∎  Requiring universal background checks.

∎  Making gun trafficking a federal crime with real penalties for “straw purchasers.”

∎  Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s amendment to ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines.

Paul Manganiello