Letter: Limitations on gun rights matter of degree

February 25, 2013 

Rodney Nelson, "Unlimited gun rights," (Letters, Jan. 23), tells us to, "Either change the Constitution or shut up," so I guess he supports the Second Amendment as it's written. Apparently, though, he has a problem with the Founding Fathers' use of the word "arms," because he reads that word as "guns." If Mr. Nelson wants to be a purist, he should be consistent.

So, the writers used the word "arms," a pretty generic word that today includes just about everything from slingshots to nuclear weapons. And regulation of arms is already a fact. Can we agree that it's a good idea to regulate Stinger missiles and grenade launchers? I don't know about Mr. Nelson, but I'm pretty happy my next door neighbor isn't allowed to conduct target practice in the backyard with his .45 pistol. Or does he believe that right shouldn't be infringed either?

We're talking in degrees, not absolutes, trying to open up a rational discussion about regulating modern arms. The residents of Newtown, Conn., live in "The Constitution State," one of the 13 original colonies. Perhaps Mr. Nelson should ask for their interpretation of the Second Amendment.

TIM TAYLOR, Richland

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