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Letters: Gun ownership is a right, not a privilege

January 22, 2013

Re "Product safety must include guns," Column, Jan. 18

David Lazarus makes some good points, but he doesn't mention that alcohol and tobacco use isn't protected by the Constitution. Hence, regulating them is legal. Guns are protected, and regulating them (at least at the

national level) is rightly difficult.

If the legislature of New York wants to enact overreaching laws, then shame on New Yorkers for electing people who don't appreciate their responsibility to protect their constituents. Chicago has a high murder rate and some of the strictest gun laws in the country. But those people elected their leaders, so they get the laws they deserve.

Fortunately, our founders foresaw just how avaricious lawmakers could be and wrote protections into the Constitution, at least at the federal level.

Nobody wants to hurt children, but there is a higher purpose for not leaving the population disarmed. For these reasons, I believe the overreaching gun laws we have are enough.

Paul S. Fitch

Green Valley, Ariz.

I think a parallel with cars instead of alcohol and tobacco is more realistic. For cars, every sale is registered, buyers must have insurance and at least some drivers education, and the licenses must be renewed regularly.

Of course, there are still people who drive without a license or insurance, but the level of state regulation minimizes that. Most people drive responsibly, but that does not mitigate the importance of having government controls over access to cars and to the legal right to drive.

Despite this regulation, many adults own cars, and the laws are not considered an attempt by the state to end individual liberties or to curtail the right to travel by car.

Kathleen Sheldon

Santa Monica

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