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Letter: Gun regulations

I’d like to address Mr. Parody’s rather heated letter to the editor regarding the recent gun buy-back.

There’s plenty of debate about the efficacy of such programs. I personally believe the fewer guns the better, but I’ve never been a gun enthusiast. However, I don’t begrudge gun owners their constitutionally protected rights to own firearms. But I do take exception to the rather shrill argument that any attempt to control access to firearms is some kind of precursor to a federal ban on firearms and the harbinger of a police state. Mr. Parody bemoans having to pay a fee for his constitutional right to bear arms, but I would like to remind him that if he wanted to organize a protest against gun control at the city park, he’d have to obtain and pay for a permit to do so. Both freedom of speech and the right to bare arms are constitutional rights, but that does not exempt them from regulations. The Second Amendment calls for a “well regulated” militia. We can argue whether the 18th-century interpretation of the need for a standing militia is relevant to the 21st century, but I think implementation of common-sense gun control laws is a reasonable discussion to have. However, such a discussion is difficult when one has to try to be heard over a din of paranoia that has become so pervasive in some segments of our society.

STEVE SUTHERLAND

Greenfield

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