The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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January 23, 2013

Your View: All violence is in perpetrator's mind

— In its Jan. 20 editorial, The Free Press said: "Citizens should add their voice to this debate" on gun control and the Second Amendment i.e. "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Some letter writers have; here is mine. In the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller the court held, and I paraphrase, it is constitutional for the average person (individual) to possess a typical firearm for self-defense within the home. The contemporary average person has essentially the same societal status, relatively speaking, as did the average person on Dec. 17, 1791, when the Second Amendment was ratified.

But the typical firearm has changed over time. In 1791, it was probably a musket.

So if one accepts the ruling in Heller, it seems the gun control issue left to be resolved is contemporary society's definition of the typical firearm.

Oh wait a minute -- an unintended consequence of such a definition is that it would only effect law-abiding gun owners. Maybe it best the Administration and Congress stop grandstanding and just leave the Second Amendment alone, i.e. uninfringed. If I choose to own a firearm to be used only for "self defense within the home" I would want the most effective available; one at least as effective as what the perpetrator or perpetrators might have.

All violence is in the individual perpetrator's state of mind; try to control that -- if you think you can.


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