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A Schooling on the Second Amendment



Regarding the spate of opinions on the relationship of the Second Amendment, gun control and a ban on assault-style weaponry ("Guns Don't Kill People, Toxic Masculinity Does," March 1 and "Ending Gun Violence Takes a Different Kind of Bravery," Feb. 22), it is worth citing J. Alito's opinion from the recent U.S. Supreme Court case, McDonald v. Chicago.

In the majority opinion affirming U.S. citizens' right to bear arms, the jurists clearly acknowledged that Congress may limit the types of guns that can be owned and the people who can own them:

"...state and local experimentation with reasonable firearms regulations will continue under the Second Amendment." 

"It is important to keep in mind that Heller, while striking down a law that prohibited the possession of handguns in the home, recognized that the right to keep and bear arms is not "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." 

"We made it clear in Heller that our holding did not cast doubt on such longstanding regulatory measures as 'prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill,' 'laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.'" 

The issue of an assault weaponry ban has nothing to do with either hunting, for which they serve no reasonable or humane purpose, or Second Amendment rights. It has everything to do with the lawful limitation of the means to do catastrophic harm to groups of people, and not just in schools, in short order.

Presciently, and ironically, the Supreme Court's ruling turned largely on the historical deprivation of freed black people, post Civil War, of the means to protect themselves, primarily in southern states, from marauding white thugs bent on retaining white privilege. 

 Ken Miller, McKinleyville

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