Letter: Gun rights are simple, and boil down to Constitution

Posted 4/17/23

To the editor:

Well it’s that time of the year and they’re trying to infringe our gun rights again.

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Letter: Gun rights are simple, and boil down to Constitution


To the editor:

Well it’s that time of the year and they’re trying to infringe our gun rights again.

To me this is a very simple matter. Boils down to the Constitution.

In 1790 or so our founders got together and drew up 13 Amendments. Ten were ultimately passed and approved by the states. The Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791.

The second amendment reads:

“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.”

One sentence, three commas. It seems very straightforward and understandable to me. And it’s right there on top, number two.

By the way, to anyone that’s bothered to read the first ten amendments one thing will stand out. The first three were not wordy. Direct and to the point. In other words there was very little discussion as to their importance. 

As for the second, our founding fathers felt very strongly about a strong central government that could go rogue. They had, after all, just won a revolution against a tyrannical king and wanted to make sure that for the people’s protection, their right to gather in a militia, and to fully arm themselves, was not infringed. No mention anywhere of the types of arms they were allowed to bear. And there were some pretty deadly weapons in the 1790’s.

So as our legislators are gathering in Providence I would ask them to consider our founders intentions as you debate infringing our rights. There’s a reason for the amendment. Human history is filled with them. 

Question is, if the legislature is willing to blow off the second amendment, which of the others is fair game, which is next? The first? If you don’t like the press you’re receiving, shut down the newspaper? If you don’t like the Jews, the Catholics, the Protestants, well just close those churches or synagogues? The sixth? Don’t like that person or group of people, well just put them in jail and throw away the key. Where does ignoring our constitution end?

There’s a procedure, made purposely difficult, for amending the Constitution. Rather than infringe our rights, take Section 1 of the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment that mandated the prohibition of alcohol. Insert the word “Second” instead and submit it to Congress and the states for ratification.

That’s the way it should be done.

Ken Kossak      

87 Kerr Road


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.