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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 17, 2014 at 7:03 AM

Gun control: Clearing misinformation around gun rights

The debate over gun control has devolved into an exchange of misinformation ["Second Amendment changes needed," Northwest Voices, June 13]. Here are the facts:

First, the majority of Americans — including National Rifle Association members — do actually support common-sense gun regulation.

Second, simple possession of a firearm does not make you safer.

Third, regulations do make a difference. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that firearm fatalities will eclipse traffic fatalities by 2015. Whereas cars and drivers are strictly regulated, gun regulations continue to erode. Today, virtually anyone can purchase a firearm through unlicensed private sales.

Until the pivotal 2003 District of Columbia v. Heller case, the Second Amendment had never been interpreted as the amendment that gave Americans the right to bear arms for defensive purposes. Rather, the right to self-defense and the right to use firearms for this purpose was — and has been — the domain of state constitutions. In Washington state, the right to bear arms is guaranteed under Section 24. Even so, to quote Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority, “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

This is why I ask that responsible firearm owners fight against misinformation and support legislation that supports responsible gun owners.

James Harmon, Lake Stevens

Comments | More in Gun control | Topics: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, District of Columbia v. Heller, gun control

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