Rights for all

TO THE EDITOR: This week, two more mass killings occurred in the United States resulting in another 30 deaths. That makes 54 mass killings this year where more than four people were killed or injured. And that totals 281 deaths and 1,032 injuries.

This does not include other recent mass killings like Las Vegas with 480 killed or injured; Orlando, 102; Virginia Tech, 49; and Sandy Hook, 29. And most of these mass killings involved assault type semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity magazines, or bump stocks.

These assaults are not perpetrated by foreign terrorists or illegal immigrants, but generally by white American men.

I grew up as a gun owner and I still own my second gun, a 22-caliber rifle. I appreciate and support that the Second Amendment protects the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. However, the Constitution is not just the Second Amendment.

It consists of Eight Articles and 27 Amendments whose purpose, is to “promote the General Welfare” of its citizens, generally defined as health, morality, and safety.

The collective implementation of our Constitution no longer provides for the health, morality, and safety of all citizens. It’s time for a reasonable interpretation of gun rights.

No citizen needs an assault-style rifle equipped with a high-capacity magazine designed from the outset to inflict injury or death. All citizens should be subject to effective background checks with no loopholes in order to purchase weapons and ammunition.

I find it hypocritical that the best we can do as Christians is to “pray for the victims and their families” and call the perpetrators cowards.

Why should we fear going to a mall, a nightclub, a school, or a church? It’s time to express our moral outrage and demand change so all citizens, not just gun owners, are protected under our Constitution.

WILLIAM STEELE

Colonel, Retired

Plattsburgh

Recommended for you