A demonstrator holds a sign depicting an assault rifle at a protest against President Trump's Aug. 7 visit to El Paso following a mass shooting there that left at least 22 people dead. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Robert J. Muzzio made an eloquent plea for responsible freedom in his Aug. 15 letter, “More gun laws, less freedom,” but he missed a cogent point.

When you live in a society larger than a single person, someone or a group of someones needs to cede some freedom so we can live in harmony. Otherwise, it’s either anarchy or dictatorship. We give up our freedom to drive 100 mph on the freeway to ensure public safety. No one’s freedom is absolute. We all make compromises in the public interest. 

I absolutely do not advocate taking away the right of Nimrod to shoot Bambi, Roger or Daffy for food. Nor do I say that a person should be defenseless in their home or person. (Check National Rifle Association regulations for proper firearm storage.) As a former firearms owner, trained in firearm use and safety by the NRA while a young Boy Scouts of America member, I respect the proper and careful use of firearms. 

However, if we can limit the number of people killed by firearms, whether in mass shootings or suicides or single homicides, saving one life is worth reasonable and limited restrictions on our personal freedom. Compare the context in which the Second Amendment was written with today’s situation. Times, conditions and weaponry have all changed. So should our attitudes. 

Reasonable limitations on individual freedoms are what makes society work. Society does not work well when it has any unfettered freedom that costs some 35,000 lives a year.

Daniel B. Johnston, Gaithersburg

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