Letter to the editor: 2nd Amendment restricts government

“I don’t need to wait another minute,” Joe Biden said, pushing for gun reform in Congress. While the Founders never intended the creation of an unregulated individual right to guns, the Second Amendment was specifically directed at preventing abuses by the federal government. In those days, there was no standing federal army and civilian forces (called militias) were within the states. English history demonstrated these abuses as well as how to prevent them; only raise a federal army (full-time, paid troops) when the need to fight a foreign adversary arose. Until then, the citizenry retains the responsibility for protecting themselves. Any federal restriction impedes that ability. The Second Amendment was successful and the specific abuse which drove the adoption of this amendment disappeared. But other abuses by the federal government have increased. The principle behind the Second Amendment remains, as does its need. Regardless of where one stands on gun control, we should see the prerogative of gun regulation resides in the statehouses, not the White House. The president certainly can use his "bully pulpit" to solicit legislation through the states. But Montana officials should remind the president and Congress the Second Amendment is a stern restriction on them. Duane Cook,

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