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It Doesn't Take Moses to Figure This Out

June 01, 1997

Oh, well, I thought it would be to the public's advantage to have Charlton "Moses" Heston at the helm of the National Rifle Assn. ("Fire Power," May 21). At least now they'd have someone with reading comprehension above the fifth-grade level. My satisfaction was apparently premature, based on The Times article's note that Heston argues that the 2nd Amendment "was not only intended to justify citizenry building militias for their countries, but was also intended to protect private people bearing arms," and berates critics' inability to "understand" his quip about "wise old dead white guys." (Flash: The offense is in the implication that only white males were wise enough to have framed the Constitution.)

As I remember the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

A constitutional fundamentalist would read that sentence as only validating the right to keep and bear arms within the context of individuals belonging to a well-regulated militia organized to protect the security of their state.

Which of these words does Heston not understand?

NEIL CLARK

Long Beach

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