By sheer coincidence, I finished Adam Winkler’s “Gunfight” the same morning these two articles appeared (“Gun violence study” and “Gun violence is a public health issue,” Aug. 29).
Readers of this extremely informative book learn the debate over whether the Second Amendment refers to a militia-based right or an individual’s right is a moot point.
In fact, for the first 200 years of our country’s existence, the American gun culture co-existed alongside a strong gun control culture.
From the post-Revolutionary era, when fear of foreign invasion was still very real, through the 18th century need for arms to repel hostile natives and wild animals, to the post-Civil War (not so) Wild, Wild West years, into the Depression-era rise of gangster mobs and finally the 1960s decade of homegrown revolutionaries and political assassinations — there have always been federal and more often state laws in place entailing some combination of outright gun registration, background checks, waiting periods, storage and safety requirements and concealed-carry prohibitions, often championed by the NRA and the U.S. Revolver Association.
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These past 40 years, when as a country we have evolved past the need to arm against all those threats, is the only time an unfettered right to own and bear arms of all types has been of even serious debate let alone political position.
What sense does that make? None.