2014-02-21 / Opinion

Second Amendment Guards Public Safety

To the Editor:

Newport has a local chapter of the Million Moms Against Guns that lobbied the Newport City Council last year to pass more gun laws. They said they were not going away just because they mostly failed in their efforts. Naturally, gun owners are opposed to their attempts to get more stringent gun laws. They do not work to stop criminals. However, they do interfere with the citizens' right to defend themselves.

I am a member of the Newport Rifle Club and every one of our 700+ members is interested in the Second Amendment being obeyed. The majority of our members live in Newport and Middletown. We oppose more gun laws since they do not work and only make the public less safe.

Many of the residents of Newport are veterans who retired here after serving at the Navy base; most veterans are gun owners, at least every one I know. Veterans fought to defend the Constitution and all of the things enumerated in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment being one of those rights.

Then there is the fact that many people are ignorant about guns and their many uses beyond selfdefense, so the more guns are talked about in the media the better informed the public can become. That's a good thing. After talking for many years about guns with people who did not own one, I have informed and converted many to support the Second Amendment once they understood how important it is to keeping our country free. Several became gun owners after talking to me about the issues surrounding them.

I have taught many people how to shoot. Everyone not only enjoyed it, but many became gun owners themselves. It can be fun and learning to shoot is a great discipline. The Newport Rifle Club teaches courses on gun safety and how to shoot. We teach everyone from Boy Scouts earning merit badges to elderly persons interested in crime protection, to folks simply interested in learning about firearms.

If you read the history of America and her Founding Fathers, you will discover that guns were one of the most important things in their lives and they enshrined that belief in the Second Amendment to our Constitution. They thought it so important that the people have guns that the language they used was carefully chosen to permit NO ambiguity. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." There is no wiggle room there because none was intended.

James Baillargeron


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