January 25, 2013

In his Jan. 18 op-ed column, “The ‘impossible’ is now within reach,” Eugene Robinson wrote: “Guns don’t have rights; citizens do.” This is both precisely the point and trying to have it both ways.

As the legal owner of a so-called assault weapon, I have every right under the Second Amendment to that weapon as long as I use it legally and responsibly. Mr. Robinson quoted from Justice Antonin Scalia’s mention in D.C. v. Heller of “dangerous and unusual” weapons, but Justice Scalia was not referring to assault weapons, which are neither dangerous nor unusual: There are millions of such weapons in this country, making them common, and as long as they are responsibly handled, they are no more dangerous than any other firearm.

The phrases “gun violence” and “gun rights” are used to shift the focus and responsibility from the shooter to the gun itself. Guns are inanimate objects, capable only of doing what the shooter wishes. You can’t state on one hand that guns don’t have rights and on the other claim they are responsible for violence. Only people are responsible for violence. I do not understand why I should have my rights abridged because of the criminal actions of a disturbed individual in Newtown, Conn.

Brett Weeks, Gambrills