Sam King breezily notes the "obscure phrase" that opens and defines the purpose of the Second Amendment: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, ..." What is the only reasonable interpretation of that amendment, is that states may establish "well regulated militias" and allow citizens enrolled in them "to keep and bear arms."
No simple private person was or should be entitled to buy or possess today's hand-held weapons of mass slaughter. — Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland
Sheriff Winters, along with other law enforcement agencies around the country who are refusing to enforce an assault-weapons ban that doesn't even exist yet, should be ashamed of themselves.
What about "protect and serve?" As far as the Second Amendment is concerned, the framers of the Constitution could not, in their wildest imaginings, envision these weapons of mass destruction. The mother of a 7-year-old victim at Sandy Hook asked the governor of Connecticut to come and view the body of her son. His left hand and lower jaw were completely blown away. Try to imagine being called to identify a loved one in that condition, or worse.
Why are we even having a discussion about allowing anyone except the military to have that kind of firepower? It has nothing to do with the Second Amendment ... it is insane. — Jean Strong, Medford
This country keeps fighting about whether or not abortion should be legal, but our energy could be better spent addressing the root cause of abortion: unwanted pregnancies. We can reduce unwanted pregnancies by improving education and sex education.
A study by the Population Reference Bureau shows that women in Third World countries have fewer children if they have access to more education. More education means more opportunity, and women (and men) will plan better against unwanted pregnancies if they are hopeful about their future.
We also need real sex education. The National Center for Health Statistics showed last year that abstinence-only sex education actually leads to more unwanted pregnancies because students do not learn how to protect themselves.
For those who would respond to this letter with an outcry against premarital sex, I say this is still a free country, with a separation of church and state, and you cannot mandate what goes on in people's bedrooms. For those who might moan about the fetuses lost to abortion, I would encourage you to look into fostering one of the 400,540 children who need foster homes in this country. Let's stop sniping and start taking action. — Margaret DesCamp, Talent