Americans need to wake up to the epidemic of gun violence [“At SPU, grief without despair,” Local News, June 7].
For too many years our elected representatives have been pushed around by the bullies in the National Rifle Association. The widespread availability of guns and the nuts who will use them in shootings, such as what we have had in Seattle over the past few years, is intolerable.
Unfortunately, we are saddled by the (and in my view wrongheaded) U.S. Supreme Court decision interpreting the Second Amendment to protect individuals in possessing firearms. The language of the Second Amendment was intended to allow states to require militia men to maintain arms as they represented what existed of the U.S. armed forces at the time.
It will take a constitutional change to undo this decision and allow the government to protect citizens from the growing gun menace. Such a constitutional change can be patterned on the reasonable restrictions now in place governing another deadly weapon: automobiles.
No citizen should be permitted to possess a firearm with out a valid license. No license should be issued to felons or the mentally disturbed. Every license holder should pass a gun-safety course and provide for safe storage for the firearm, just as we require drivers to pass a driving test.
The difference between a car and a gun is that a car, when used as intended, provides safe transportation. A gun, when used as intends, kills someone.
Michael Crutcher, Seattle