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Gun-rights exaggeration

Published: Friday, April 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

George Gow’s letter April 3, claiming that the president and Democrats are violating their oaths to protect the constitutional right to bear arms contains not only Mr. Gow’s personal opinion (his right), but made-up definitions of certain words found in the Second Amendment.

The key words he focuses on are “regulate” and “infringe,” providing his interpretation that regulate means “to support” and infringe means “to break down.” In the continuing debate over how to reduce gun violence, the hyperbole regarding the true meaning of the Second Amendment coming from the NRA and an extremist fringe of gun owners has defied description.

Regulate in my Webster’s dictionary means “to control or direct by a rule” and infringe means “to encroach or trespass.”

The Second Amendment is not an unbridled right and already is subject to some regulation. Civilians may not possess fully automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, and any number of arms deemed a potential threat to public safety.

The key concept we should be pursuing is reasonable regulation that protects the rights of others to live safely and free from undue mayhem without unduly infringing on the right of civilians to own weapons for recreation and personal protection. Within this framework, there is plenty of room to consider reasonable restrictions that protect everyone’s rights.

The assertion that any erosion of gun rights will lead to confiscation is nothing more than exaggeration and fear-mongering by those with an agenda to subvert the truth or a severe case of paranoia.

David Brooks

Fox River Grove

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