To the editor:
If you are one of the nearly 90 percent of Americans who favor some form of gun safety regulation and one of your gun lobby friends throws the Second Amendment at you, I’d like to make a suggestion: Throw it back.
The Second Amendment consists of one sentence, the first half of which is a prepositional phrase. I quote: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The third word in the Second Amendment is the word regulated, and the word militia means the same thing today that it meant when the founders were debating the constitution: a group of local volunteers who come together for the common defense of the community.
If your friend made it through eighth-grade English, he will know that the purpose of a prepositional phrase is to modify or limit the meaning of the full sentence. It seems like the founders left plenty of room in the Second Amendment for some common sense gun regulation.
It’s easy to understand why the National Rifle Association refuses to recognize the first half of the Second Amendment, but what’s your excuse?