Rich Townsend’s March 26 letter [“An assault on our freedoms”] and Harry St. Ours’s March 28 rejoinder [“Freedom, rights and requirements”] comparing automobile and gun ownership provided insights for the gun safety debate. The gun-control side should keep in mind that there is no constitutional amendment stating that “a well regulated system of transportation, being necessary to the economy of a free State, the right of the people to own and drive automobiles, shall not be infringed.” The Supreme Court has made it clear that gun ownership (not related to need) is a guaranteed right. Therefore gun ownership is not truly an issue in the current debate.
The gun-rights side should acknowledge that guns and automobiles both represent a technology capable of inflicting terrible harm, and therefore the right of the people to personal safety merits government intervention of some sort. Both sides should recognize that licensing, education and insurance for automobiles does not eliminate criminal or negligent behavior on the highways, yet rational citizens surely understand that something is required of government in the regulation of responsible ownership of inherently dangerous technology of any sort.