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Many people misinterpret? a ‘well-regulated' militia

As always after human slaughter is perpetrated by armed killers, the big lie about the Second Amendment is trotted out by the gun worshipers. They claim that an armed population is essential to liberty. What results is not liberty, but license to kill and injure.

In every case in which rights and protections are enumerated, the Constitution clearly differentiates between general protections of "the people" as a whole, and particular protections of individuals. The First Amendment speaks of "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" in groups. The Fourth Amendment specifies "persons," that is, individuals, in its protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The Preamble declares that it is "the people" in general who "establish this Constitution," not an individual person. Article I, Section 2 mentions "the people" in states voting for Congress. In contrast, Article II speaks of the president, using the third person singular, clearly referring to an individual person.

In the Second Amendment, the authors made it very clear that they were intending to confer the right to keep and bear arms upon "the people" collectively. It begins with reference to the need of any "free state" to have a "well-regulated militia." Thus the state has the absolute right and power to regulate this militia, to enact and enforce any laws that are necessary to do so. It closes with the collective "the people," which everywhere in the Constitution refers to groups of people, not individuals.

The gun fanatics try their best to erase "well-regulated" from the Second Amendment. Their terror tactics have worked against the cowards in Congress, much to the misfortune of the thousands who die for the sins of the National Rifle Association and its minions.

John Marvin

Cheektowaga

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TV shows, video games,? movies promote violence

My husband and I were discussing the recent mass murders in Colorado and Canada, plus other locations around the world, and we came to the same conclusion that is the thought of many people – movies, TV and electronic games have a lot to do with the violence in our world.

What happened to the wonderful entertainment of not so long ago? Television shows were about families who cared about each other and who were respectful, e.g. "The Bill Cosby Show," "I Remember Mama," "My Three Sons," "Lassie," etc. Now they are considered corny. Movies were free from crude dialogue, and families did things together.

When I search for something to watch on TV in the evening, I generally end up putting in one of my DVDs. Every station (almost) has murders, rapes and dark subjects – vampires and the like; even the reality shows have people who want revenge, can't get along with each other or revel in throwing someone off the show.

I've given up on movies! There are a very few decent ones around. The majority have crude language, constant sex, and blood and gore. When I leave the theater, I want to feel good – happy and content – not depressed and disgusted.

As for electronic games, I have seen young children playing video games where people get beaten up or killed. Surely, there must be many games that are fun and don't involve violence. Even better, children could play outside or with their toys, read books or get involved in music.

I know that many parents feel the same way I do. I just want to tell them: Don't give up! Keep teaching your morals and values to your children, and when they grow up, they will make you proud.

Joyce Lesinski

Boston

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Bloomberg is clueless? regarding gun control

Here are some facts for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, better known by his subjects as Mr. Anti-liberty. Norway, which has some of the toughest anti-gun legislation on the books, was home to Anders Behring Breivik, the man behind the July 22, 2011, attack that claimed 77 lives using an assortment of illegally obtained guns and bombs.

Despite the City of Chicago having some of the toughest anti-gun laws on the books, 274 people have been killed, most of them by illegally obtained guns, so far this year. In 1976, Washington, D.C., instituted one of the strictest gun-control laws in the country. The murder rate since that time has risen 134 percent, while the overall rate for the country has declined 2 percent. Washington politicians find it easy to blame Virginia's less-stringent gun laws for the D.C. murder rate. Yet Virginia Beach, Virginia's largest city with almost 400,000 residents, has one of the lowest rates of murder in the country.

In New York City, long known for strict regulation of all types of weapons, only 19 percent of the 390 homicides in 1960 involved pistols. By 1972, this proportion had jumped to 49 percent of 1,691 murders. In 1973, according to the New York Times, there were only 28,000 lawfully possessed handguns in the nation's largest city, but police estimated that there were as many as 1.3 million illegal handguns there.

Elected leaders taking advantage of this tragedy in Colorado to make political points is reprehensible. If the sanctity of life is their concern, I'd suggest Bloomberg and his ilk brush up on the facts first before babbling such nonsense.

John Ringer

Buffalo

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Hunters do not need? assault-type weapons

The American sport hunting community will someday have to decide whether to stick with either the steadfast dogma of the National Rifle Association or the increasing demands of a citizenry being continually butchered by unstable gunmen. How can it be that shotguns are federally regulated to contain no more than three rounds when you are duck hunting, yet a shooter of theatergoers can expend hundreds of bullets into his victims?

Today, gun manufacturers are pushing assault-type weapons on the hunting fraternity. Pick up an Outdoor Life or Field and Stream monthly magazine and you will see the promotion of military-style weaponry for hunting. From a production standpoint, it is more profitable to make models on the same platform and profile that can be sold to the military and the sportsmen. However, a decade ago Jim Zumbo, the Outdoor Life writer, cautioned outdoorsmen from embracing such weapons in the field as they would send the wrong message to the general public. He was fired for his reasoning.

Zumbo may have been right as the public tipping point against AK-47's extended ammo clips and other volume fire mechanisms may soon be realized. Common sense and three centuries of American history can easily prescribe the needs for the sportsman in the field.

I have hunted everything from rabbits to elephants with never more than four rounds in the gun. It is possible for the rights of the hunting community and of the general population to be safeguarded. Now is a good time to start!

Joe Weiss

Clarence