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Letter: It's time for 'responsible' gun owners to compromise

Covey writes, “'Oh, but the Second Amendment!' If you embrace that as a defense, you are shallow and willfully ignorant."

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I write as a former teacher, psychologist, and student of constitutional law and traditions.

Nineteen children and two adults are dead in the 27th school shooting at Uvalde, Texas, in the first 21 weeks of 2022. Why?

Mental illness? That convenient bugaboo is so broad as to be meaningless when one in four of us will experience this sometime during their lives. And, beyond any straight-forward declaration of intent to harm usually with little time to respond, no one can predict a deadly breakdown; the first clear indication that a shooter is “mentally ill” is when he (typically) murders someone and by then, it is too late.

Why schools? Because they are havens of civilized society, places where students go to learn and grow in a safe, nurturing environment. Where better to express one’s terminal nihilistic rejection of civilization and its best values, except possibly, for a church, community center, or essential public service outlet?

“Oh, but the Second Amendment!” If you embrace that as a defense, you are shallow and willfully ignorant. Not only was the Second Amendment adopted to get Southern people-owning states to sign on to the new Constitution, its slavish protectors ignore both the regulation preamble and what “arms” were in the 18th century: Something longer than one was tall and could only be fired three times in 60 seconds by a proficient, dare I note, “well regulated,” trained soldier. But the “original intent,” indeed! “Protect us from a tyrannical government?” Good luck facing down that F-16, fella!

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But, let me offer this: We could ban all guns. Still there are “responsible” gun owners (people who have yet to contribute to the 45,000 firearm related deaths each year in America, I guess) who should stop using mental illness and the Second Amendment to justify their defense of largely un-regulated firearm possession in the United States. These owners should work with the 60% of Americans who favor stricter laws controlling killing devices to find a compromise (no side getting everything they want) or risk losing it all when sane people say “Enough! Repeal the Second Amendment.”

Mark Covey lives in Moorhead.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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