We should draft appropriate firearms ordinance

I just read the article about firearms discharge in proximity to Heron Pond Elementary School (Cabinet, Feb. 23) and the justifiable concern voiced by the Police Department and Fish and Game.

It was encouraging to know that the selectmen are concerned also, but it seems they are mostly concerned about violating the “rights” of the shooters than about the rights and safety of the students and staff at Heron Pond School. Not to mention the rights of the homeowners and their families, the hikers, cyclists or anyone else enjoying the paths in the nature area surrounding the “shooting area.”

As I recall from my history/civics classes in high school so many years ago, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights grant us certain “rights” and give us certain related “responsibilities.” The Second Amendment – stated in part from its one sentence – “the right to keep and bear arms” – i.e., to own and carry arms. No mention of any “right of discharge of same. Then, the 10th Amendment – states’ rights – its one sentence ending “powers reserved for the states or the people.” “Or the people” – that would be our elected selectpeople. We elect you to represent and act in the best interest of the town and its residents, as a group as well as for individuals.

New Hampshire state law RSA 207:3A and 644:13, “firearms discharge and restrictions,” identify schools, public buildings and residences wherein the discharge of firearms is unlawful.

So it seems to me our elected selectboard has the right and responsibility to draft an appropriate no discharge of firearms ordinance, as many other New Hampshire towns have done. Post the area and leave the rest up to the police and Fish and Game to enforce. Take a leap of faith and do the right thing to protect the majority. Protect our children at school and at play, protect the adjacent homeowners and their families, and protect those walkers enjoying their nature walks.

Don’t sacrifice the “rights” of many to grant privilege to the few. We do have shooters clubs in our area where the shooters could go to have safe and supervised practice with approved range officers and instruction, if they need or want it.

Robert Wisniewski