I'd like to respond to so many who after the latest tragedy in Connecticut are debating the ethics of gun possession.
I personally own a .270-caliber Winchester long rifle. It is not loaded. It is locked and hidden deep within my house. Its use is dedicated to hunting. Before I went hunting for the first time, I was required to take a hunter-safety course, which included classroom and range time - totaling approximately eight hours. When I hunt, I must get a "tag" from the state.
Although I have not hunted in a while, I go to the range at least once a year to make sure I am familiar with how to handle and use this weapon powerful enough to take down an 800-pound elk. I do not find these requirements to hunt a burden or a violation of my rights to have a rifle. It puzzles me why the National Rifle Association is so stubborn that it cannot concede that there are loopholes and attitudes that dilute the intention of the Second Amendment.
Written after the Revolution, I believe the intention of the Second Amendment was to allow private citizens to keep arms should there be another attempt by any country to invade our newly formed nation. It allowed for quick action should it be necessary. More importantly, guns were owned not just for defense but to hunt for food. There was nothing automatic about 18th-century guns. It took at least 20 seconds to reload. Failure to hit your mark meant you went hungry, or in battle it meant you died.
Some try to compare the number of deaths from motor vehicles to the number of deaths by guns. The first thing required before you get to drive is a permit from your state motor-vehicle office. The basic learn-to-drive program is 30 hours of classroom instruction plus six hours behind the wheel. After the instruction, you need to take both a written test and an actual driving test. If you fail, you must take it again. Once you get a car, you must register/license it and insure it. If you don't want it stolen, you lock it. Registration is renewed yearly. Organizations such as AAA are involved in continuing education and policy/law development. Is the NRA willing to go to the lengths it takes to drive a car in order to preserve our right to own and use guns?
We all seem to know about the First and Second amendments, but there are 27 of them. How many of you know or attempt to protect all them? Have we forgotten that before the U.S. Constitution, humanity was given a simple document called the Ten Commandments? Don't all religions have rules to live by that are similar? How many of us know or attempt to follow these commandments? If we did, we would not be having the type of tragedies that we have in our world today.