June 23, 2018 | ° F

Focus on problems at home

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states: "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."

Obviously, the National Guard and the Coast Guard, entrusted with the defense of this country against domestic enemies, replaced the need for a state militia. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded. The only two reasons for a citizen to own a firearm are for hunting or self-defense. In either case, ownership of a handgun, shotgun or rifle, is more than adequate to satisfy these purposes. There is absolutely no need for any U.S. civilian to own any weapon more powerful or sophisticated than these. Accordingly, all handguns, shotguns and rifles must be licensed and registered to the degree necessary to match weapon to owner at the click of a computer key. Furthermore, if we had prohibited the purchase of more sophisticated weapons — like a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine — several innocent victims would not have died or been injured during the recent tragedy in Arizona. The shooter is obviously disturbed by mental illness, but it appears that those defending the right to own sophisticated weapons exhibit the same qualities as the shooter — callous disregard for the safety and protection of their fellow citizens. Guns and mental illness are as bad a combination as alcohol and driving.

Evidently, we have the money to fight two wars overseas, but not the political will to treat the mentally ill who are not only a danger to themselves but also to everyone else.

Joe Bialek is a Cleveland, Ohio, resident.

Joe Bialek

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