President’s action on gun loopholes is right thing to do

To the Editor:

I want to throw my support behind the president’s recent actions attempting to eliminate the loopholes contributing to the sale of guns without proper licenses and background checks.

Let the courts decide whether these executive edicts are constitutional. They are certainly, in my estimation, warranted. The Congress has proven unwilling to address this reality head-on, as demonstrated in vote after vote.

Contributing to the sorry state of domestic violence in this country – spoken here as one who has owned a gun since he was 15, held a hunting license in 5 states, been a member of a Rod and Gun Club, taught marksmanship at a summer camp, and been an Officer in the U.S. Army – is the distortion of the meaning of the Second Amendment to suggest its purpose as being to allow the citizenry to arm itself against the government and law enforcement. Notable voices in the press have been making this case for years. Social media streams are clogged with evidence of such beliefs. NRA members talking about the coming revolution; bumper stickers on the backs of trucks, or tee shirts with a picture of an assault rifle and the caption "Just try and take it;" articles in defense of armed insurrection and violent opposition to the government; armed occupation of federal facilities to protest the role of the government in land management issues. The extrapolation, so widely embraced by politicians and alarmists alike, is that government is the enemy.

No amendment to the Constitution has a clearer context than the Second. "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…" Drafted at a time (1791) when we had no standing army, and faced a hostile, armed British colony on our northern border, its intent is unmistakable. The State must be able to defend itself, and relied on the citizen soldiery to do so.

I fear that the uncompromising positions of those who believe that our legal code guarantees the right to any gun, in any quantity, for anybody threaten the freedoms we have enjoyed to own and use weapons as sportsmen, hunters and – yes – citizens seeking to protect themselves. But then again, there are many these days, vociferating loudly on myriad issues, who see compromise itself – the very grease that lubricates the gears of politics and makes legislation possible – as weakness. Of all the grim political realities confronting our society, perhaps that is the most troubling. It is antithetical to the very concept of community, and places the I The Citizen firmly ahead of We The People.

Paul Loefstedt