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Second Amendment

December 5, 1993
Based upon the thinking of our Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment, shouldn't we restrict weapons to muzzle-loading rifles? ARTHUR LEVIN Los Angeles
April 25, 2013 | By Ed Stockly
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March 15, 1986
By printing the letter of Michael Clark in your March 1 issue, you again spread the oft-repeated myth of the gun lovers that the Second Amendment to the Constitution allows individuals to keep all of the guns they want. As a teacher for over 30 years, I urged my students to study the entire Constitution, not just a selected portion of a sentence. The gun lovers regularly quote the second half of the Second Amendment, while ignoring the ruling first half, as well as ignoring the historical background and the court rulings on the amendment.
January 18, 2003 | Elizabeth Mehren, Times Staff Writer
Flush with anticipation, four students from the nation's oldest women's college peered into the display case last week at Smith & Wesson's Sports Shooting Center and considered which handgun each would select for target practice. The .22, said Christie Caywood, because it fits so nicely in her hand. April Sparks swiftly chose the .357 over the .38, then opted for the .22. Student government president Erica Stock suggested they could all try different caliber weapons -- and then switch off.
September 9, 1990
It is disheartening for those of us who believe that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is just as important as the First to be forced to defend it every time there's a murder or fatal accident with a firearm. I refer to the "plea" for handgun control by Rod and Lois Briggs (Letters, Sept. 2). The Briggs' reading of the Second Amendment is that the people are allowed to have firearms only to support militias. James Madison, however, saw the state militias as a way to give the people's right to keep and bear arms maximum effect.
August 26, 1988
In response to your editorial "Guns, a History Lesson," Aug. 17: Are you sure that the Second Amendment gives a "state militia, not an individual" the right to keep and bear arms? Really? I thought the Bill of Rights was for citizens. Since when does the state need a constitutional amendment to possess weapons? The Second Amendment states, notwithstanding the conditional clause, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Does the conditional clause mean that those of us who keep arms have half a right to do so?
July 24, 1985
The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads: "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." As we no longer find it necessary to have a militia, wouldn't "the right to keep and bear arms" be unnecessary? The pro-gun lobbyists should quote the entire Second Amendment, not part of it. MORRIS S. CHESLIN Hollywood
April 23, 1989
Wambaugh concedes that maybe we are too free as a nation, that we may have to curtail our freedoms to a certain extent. At present, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is abused to the point that this area is a battlefield. We need to leave the military assault weapons to the military and exercise the Second Amendment rights in a reasonable manner. GARY N. DARBY Glendale
October 7, 1989
This is not an argument regarding the merits of gun control laws. Second Amendment states (1791): "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." As often happens in law, a simple English sentence may have legal significance which determines the application of the words. The Second Amendment was, as was the rest of the first 10 amendments (the Bill of Rights), insisted upon by some of the states for their own protection from the federal government.
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to recognize a constitutional right to own machine guns sought by the National Rifle Assn., which had described a lower court's ruling in the matter as "the first ban on firearms possession by law-abiding citizens in American history." Without dissent, the high court let stand an appeals court ruling which upheld a 1986 federal law banning the manufacture, sale or ownership of new machine guns except by police or government agencies.
They lock the gate to Canada at 5 p.m. But in this woodsy corner of northeastern Washington, no one really seems to mind the wait until it reopens promptly at 9 the next morning. In an emergency, there's a border crossing open until midnight about 10 miles to the west. "This part of the country is still kind of backward. I like it that way.
Their counterdemonstration in support of gun rights will be smaller than the Million Mom March. But the gun-owning women who make up the Second Amendment Sisters feel just as passionately about their cause. "The anti-gun factions constantly say that if it saves one life, it's worth it," said Debra Collins, who once used a 12-gauge shotgun to defend herself from an attack by her ex-husband at 4 o'clock in the morning. "Well, my firearm saved one life--mine."
Like many another old-timer, Leon Uris looks at America and doesn't like what he sees. Gun manufacturers peddling ever more lethal weaponry under the cover of the Second Amendment. Media grown hysterical and trivial. Racial sores left to fester. The nation's "social agenda" abandoned in favor of corporate greed. A general falling-off of virtue, so that the heroic Marines of World War II he wrote about in his first novel, "Battle Cry," are grotesquely parodied by right-wing militiamen.
May 31, 1994
Your editorial "Fear of Gun Crime: Deeper Than Any Set of Statistics" (May 22) hits very wide of the bull's-eye. Though criminal usage of firearms is up, so is successful civilian usage in justified self-defense, to over 2 million per annum. Regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment, you're only half right. The constitutional framers were rightly afraid of a dictatorial central government; however, the Second Amendment does in fact confirm an individual right to own arms.
May 24, 1994
I was especially intrigued by the last paragraph of "Handgun Crime Soaring in U.S., Report Says," May 17. I quote, "The survey also found that 38% of the victims who were armed attacked the individuals seeking to harm them. One-fifth of those attempting to protect themselves with a firearm were injured, compared to almost half who used other weapons or had no weapon at all." I guess it comes as no surprise that the notoriously anti-gun Times would bury this intriguing bit of news at the very end. SAM BRUNSTEIN Glendale By now everyone knows the position of the National Rifle Assn.
May 8, 1994
In Paula Poundstone's piece ("The Good Old Days? Somebody Stole 'Em," Laugh Lines, April 25) she makes the false statement regarding the Old West that "they didn't have the evil NRA then because nobody was against guns to begin with." In fact, the National Rifle Assn. was incorporated in 1871 during the relatively brief period between the Civil War and the turn of the century that we think of as the "Wild West" period. It was during this era that attempts were made to disenfranchise and leave defenseless newly freed blacks by not allowing them to possess firearms as all other Americans could.
April 24, 1994
The story "Slain Rescuer Was North Hills Man" (April 12) might well have been "North Hills Man Rescues Woman and Slays Attacker" had kind and generous Jose Felix Garcia Mercado been able to exercise the right to bear arms as granted by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. He might very well be alive today, and The Times could report one bad guy eliminated while two good people survived. Conversely, the story "Teen-Age Intruder Under Influence of LSD Shot to Death by Homeowner" might well have been "Homeowner, Wife and 6-Month-Old Daughter Slain by LSD-Crazed Teen-Age Intruder."
April 15, 1994
As a moderate Republican, I was delighted to read the column by Karen Grigsby Bates ("A Little Inconvenience to Save Lives," Commentary, April 6). The random searches she describes to rid the state of guns would be an excellent way to attack crime in this state. Although such a search would probably be tempered by constitutional issues (i.e., the Second Amendment), a more realistic approach to remove all assault weapons and illegally owned handguns would not be a radical or fascist approach at all. Sacramento is already drafting legislation on assault weapons and handgun licensing that could support such searches.
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