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Ratified in 1792, the Second Amendment states, "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 2008 Supreme Court decision allowed individuals to own a gun for self-defense in the home. State constitutions allow hunting, antique collecting and recreational use.
At the time the amendment was written, we lacked adequate military, so the right to form a militia, like our Minute Men, was necessary. Today, if someone in your neighborhood is starting his own militia, you have a serious problem. And one does not need a semi-automatic rifle to protect home and family.
In a recent article, one gun enthusiast wrote he likes to destress at the shooting range with his assault weapon, and said he'd hate to lose that right. For the sake of a safer society, you'd think gun enthusiasts would willingly sacrifice these leisure activities.
Gun bans alone will not change our violent culture beset with masculine aggression.
As an important step to curbing violence, I support the ban of semi-automatic assault weapons and ammunition and hope others, and our legislators, will do the same.