Letters

Second Amendment implies right, not privilege

In "Unfit to bear arms" (May 10, Editorial) you stated, "The gun lobby wants the Second Amendment to protect 'responsible' owners. But the statistics argue that too many owners are irresponsible, either in keeping or in using guns. Gun ownership should be a tightly regulated privilege, not a loosely given right." I disagree. This change of phrase would set a precedent for turning other constitutional rights into privileges as well, making this a very dangerous step to take. Supposing the Supreme Court would rule that the Second Amendment is a privilege, what would prevent a future Supreme Court from ruling that the freedom of speech is also to be considered a privilege and not a right? These inalienable rights must not become privileges for the few.
Morton Sims
San Jose, Calif.

It's no one's business to decide if I'm a "responsible" gun owner – however this term might be defined. It seems clear, through the writings of our Founding Fathers, that – however you might wish to interpret the Second Amendment – their intent was to disallow government restrictions on gun ownership. If so, a great motive for doing this would be to provide a deterrent to possible tyrannies. The only good use of gun-control laws is to use them on those individuals who break the law. Imprison lawbreakers, but leave my rights alone.
Paul Griffin
Olympia, Wash.

The Second Amendment is one of the few articles of the Bill of Rights that allows state and local governments to exercise powers forbidden to the federal government. The Supreme Court has ruled more than once that every state and local government has power to limit or forbid the ownership of weapons. In fact, many of them do so already. There is little reason for the federal government to preempt this power of the state.
David M. Hudelson
Olney, Md.

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Sea-Doo's: Shape-up or ship-out

Regarding "Is banning the buzz in national parks fair?" (May 8): Personal water crafts should be banned. Far too many drivers of these water toys ride them with reckless abandon without any regard for others who are trying to enjoy the same body of water. We have laws against taking a car on the street and driving like a maniac. So why should someone be allowed to operate a water craft any differently?
Jim Lovett
Nashville, Tenn.

Personal watercraft drivers seem unable to understand the extent to which their leisure activity contributes to air and sound pollution or to appreciate that natural areas do need to be preserved. These recreational toys infringe on the personal area of those who are out to appreciate nature, and who can do without the intrusion of noise and gas smells which harm the environment. It would be appreciated if those riding these toys could make a greater effort to understand just how intrusive this "personal watersport" really is.
Ani Apelian
Leonia, N.J.

Working our way beyond revenge

Regarding "A daughter's unusual revenge" (May 2): This story about Laura Blumenfeld's search for answers to the questions surrounding revenge was very thought provoking. It taught me that care and understanding, is a lot more powerful than destroying your enemy. This creates an element of dignity and respect for another person and teaches us that hurting someone, for any reason is a disgrace to ourselves. Ms. Blumenfeld is a truly remarkable person.
Alex Tucciarone
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

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