Constitution protects rights of gun owners Jules...


May 17, 2002

Constitution protects rights of gun owners

Jules Witcover asserts that U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft changed the Justice Department's interpretation of the Second Amendment based solely on his "personal views" ("Ashcroft's gun views now policy," Opinion

Commentary, May 10).

In fact, this reversal of policy occurred in light of overwhelming historical evidence documented over the last two decades that the Second Amendment was intended to protect the firearm rights of all law-abiding citizens.

Mr. Witcover implies that the Second Amendment's reference to "a well-regulated militia" restricts the right to bear arms to state militias.

In fact, the term "well-regulated militia" is a 17th century term understood by the Founding Fathers to mean a citizenry familiar with the use of firearms. Had Mr. Witcover consulted the Federalist Papers instead of a lawyer for a gun control organization, he would not have made such a preposterous claim.

David W. Fischer


The writer is the attorney for the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association.

Second Amendment confuses only the left

I was not surprised by The Sun's editorial "Guns get a boost" (May 12). But what the editorial should have said was that we finally have an administration that has correctly interpreted the Second Amendment and had the moxie to say what it really says.

Those who think that this amendment is "ambiguous, overly parsed and confusing" are the same ones who want to twist, bend and reshape it to make it coincide with their leftist agendas.

And that's just wrong - plain and simple.

W. Wiesand


My response to The Sun's editorial "Guns get a boost" is that one doesn't have to "love guns" to be in favor of law-abiding citizens having the right to own them.

Marie Mullen


Repeal the right to bear arms

After reading about U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's reinterpretation of the Second Amendment to conform to the irresponsible views of the National Rifle Association, I think Dennis Henigan, legal director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, is right to wonder what are reasonable restrictions on gun ownership ("Ashcroft's gun views now policy," Opinion *Commentary, May 10).

The NRA has championed the ownership of assault rifles and cop-killer bullets in the past. If laws against these weapons are not reasonable restrictions, what are?

The Constitution will now be soiled by the NRA's self-centered interpretations. Maybe it's time for the majority of Americans, who oppose extremist views on guns, to repeal the Second Amendment, and put an end to this nonsense once and for all.

William P. Jenkins

Bel Air

Naval officer's place is with the fleet

At the Naval Academy, football is an important adjunct in molding and training young officers, but officers' future duties lie in the fleet. That is what the Naval Academy is about - and we should keep it that way ("Quandary at Navy: football vs. integrity," May 12).

Given the conditions in the world today, I would think even the greenest midshipman, no less the crustiest admiral, would realize a young officer's first duty is to the people of the country with whom he has signed a pact and who have given him an expensive and exclusive education.

There should be no question of where he should be - alongside his classmates as they steam off with the fleet.

Earl L. Gale

Selangor, Malaysia

The writer is a retired officer of the U.S. Navy.

As I read the article "Quandary for Navy: football vs. integrity" I was appalled, mortified, ashamed and disgusted.

What quandary? That there should be any doubt in anyone's mind is ludicrous. Duty, honor, country. Not football.

Joseph V. DiGiacinto

Bel Air

Send convicted spy to a tougher prison

Convicted spy Robert Hanssen may be sent to the federal prison in Allenwood, Pa., for life ("FBI spy sent to prison for life," May 11). In view of his sullenness when he rendered an apology for 22 years of spying, his suspected lack of cooperation with his interrogators and his apparent lack of remorse, I would like to propose alternative locations for his life sentence.

Supermax would be a good choice, or Jessup annex, or even the Baltimore City Jail. Of course, there is no golf or tennis in any of those facilities.

I do not trivialize the loss of freedom, but were I to commit a crime involving incarceration, I would rejoice in receiving a sentence to Allenwood.

Dottie Phillips


Don't use sex scandal to change the church

The Sun is to be commended for running Cal Thomas' column responding to criticism of the Catholic Church ("Church bashing delights the left," Opinion * Commentary, May 8).

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