Readers write: Reactions to 'Armed in America' book review

Letters to the editor for the March 12, 2018 weekly magazine. 

George Frey/Reuters
Salesman Ryan Martinez clears the chamber of an AR-15 at the "Ready Gunner" gun store In Provo, Utah, U.S. on June 21, 2016.

We received a very robust response to our Jan. 26 review of “Armed in America,” by Patrick J. Charles, that appeared in the Books section of From the more than 100 reader responses that arrived within a few days of publishing it, we have chosen a few that give some idea of the range of opinion represented. 

– Marjorie Kehe, Books editor

Second Amendment debate

Thank you, thank you, for the final sentence of the review, which reads, “Elected leaders, guided by citizens and not by powerful interest groups, should feel free to decide for themselves, without intrusion from conflicting interpretations of the Second Amendment, what is best for society and for protecting our families.” 

Of course it should be about protecting our families.

Edna Steele

Burlingame, Calif.

I am always interested in the gun laws of the United States and in particular the current debate surrounding gun laws. 

Articles such as this book review are timely. America needs considered debate on this issue. I am a regular visitor to the US and the concealed-carry factor is a worry for me and my family.

Frank Godard

Doncaster, England

I am an “originalist,” so I think that the Second Amendment should be taken at face value. But I also recognize that at the time of its writing, there were only single-shot, muzzle-loading, flintlock firearms. 

Therefore, everybody should be allowed to own and carry such firearms without any regulation on them. Ownership of any other sort of firearm should be regulated.

Arthur Naebig

La Valle, Wis.

What if my elected official doesn’t share the same beliefs regarding my rights? How is that official representing me?

Jim Hovater

Sheffield, Ala.

Thank you so much for this article and for bringing out its important conclusion and history.

Virginia McCullough

Newburyport, Mass.

At the time of the writing of the Second Amendment, gun ownership was a given, considering the need for hunting for food as well as defense on an isolated farmstead far away from everyone. 

If anything, the Bill of Rights supports the private ownership of guns. To be proficient with a gun requires frequent practice, further reinforcing the right to private ownership. For frequent practice, the gun needs to be readily available, not stored in an armory. 

To be able to handle a gun safely, you need to be familiar with it, so it needs to be your own gun that you are using.

Bill H. De Bruin

Wautoma, Wis

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