Mailbag: Second Amendment should be honored

I thought that Stan Hall’s May 30 letter (“A new focus on guns is needed”) was very well thought out. It’s one important part of a “common sense” gun control package. Certainly periodically renewed gun safety certification would make sense, without interfering with citizens’ Second Amendment rights. Another part would be to close the loopholes in background checks. Making sure that every person who buys a gun is properly vetted for criminal history and mental health issues would be a big step forward. The Second Amendment guarantees that “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” As I, a non-lawyer, understand it, the intent of a “well-regulated militia” applies to the state National Guards, but the wording protects the right for the people as a whole. This doesn’t mean it applies to every individual, though; where criminal lifestyles or mental health issues are involved, public safety must come first. For firearms (and other weapons) that go beyond hunting, self-defense, and similar functions, a special, more advanced license should be required, including all of the above plus disclosure of the reason for having such weapons. The Second Amendment should definitely be honored, but there are ways of getting guns away from those who shouldn’t have them without violating it. Mr. Hall and I have barely scratched the surface on that.

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