I disagree with Lohren Applegate’s letter regarding the NRA and the Second Amendment. I would call his attention to a 103-page memorandum put out in December 2004 by top lawyers of the U.S. Justice Department: “The text of the Second Amendment points to a personal right of individuals: A right of the people is ordinarily and most naturally a right of individuals, not of a state and not merely those serving the state as militiamen.” That should cover that point.
I am not familiar with the laws of other states, but about 30 years ago, when I bought my son a .22 caliber single shot target rifle, I had to register it in my name. (He was too young.) I believe that the forms that I filled out were sent in to Sacramento and probably are still on record. You don’t just walk in and buy a gun. There is usually a waiting period before you can take possession of the firearm, which allows them to check out your background.
As far as “common sense safeguards” are concerned, I would recommend that he endeavor to get some information before making unjustified comments. This is very similar to non-pilots making charges about pilots, when they really do not have the correct information. The NRA goes to great pains to promote gun safety and even has a program to teach youngsters about gun safety. It also has courses to teach women firearms safety and how to shoot. It also pushes for stiffer sentences for criminal use of firearms.
I have been shooting longer than Applegate has been flying. I am also a pilot and am aware of the lack of understanding on both subjects by the general public. The NRA has been trying to educate the general public with regards to guns just as general aviation has to flying. Knowledge can go a long way in understanding flying and shooting, as the articles mentioned recommend. Working together towards that end is beneficial to everyone concerned.
San Rafael, Calif.