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January 23, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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Gun owners demonstrate against restrictions

Second Amendment favors one side

Regarding “Rally for Second Amendment rights” [NWSunday, Jan. 20], I was appalled to see a photo of a bunch of my supposed fellow citizens heading to the Capitol building with assault rifles and something called a “416 Barrett” (which looks like a full-scale machine gun) strapped to their backs.

Gee, what would have been the reaction of local police if a group of Occupy Wall Street folks had converged on the Capitol so equipped? Would our gendarmes simply have let them traipse around with such heavy artillery in tow? Or, more likely, would we now be reading about the pre-emptive attack launched by police to ensure our collective safety, resulting in who knows how many injured or even dead?

Seems that, so long as you’re a right-wing crazy, carrying military-grade weaponry in public is A-OK. But if you’re not consumed by fears of black helicopters and blue helmets, forget it.

--Michael Spence, Tukwila

Flaunting weaponry prevents reasonable discussion

Sunday’s page B1 features a picture of “Members of Tactical Supply” people carrying large weapons of mass destruction in front of our state Capitol. This image carries no semblance of “a well-regulated militia” as advocated by the Second Amendment. Rather, it looks more like an intentionally intimidating display of bravado following the narrow interpretation of the Second Amendment as fostered by the current leadership of the NRA.

Lots of reasonable people, gun owners included, believe there is a gun-safety problem in this country. A reasonable person can rightfully wonder about whether the framers intended the inclusion of today’s tactical weapons in the possession of each and every citizen, as the NRA advocates. This display of unreasonable power by the Members of Tactical Supply seems to thwart any reasonable discussion of the gun-safety issues of concern to all of us.

The recent mass killers were all deemed responsible citizens the day before they pulled the trigger. Their too-easy access to the too-readily-available weapons of mass destruction makes their crimes too easy to carry out.

How is there to be a reasonable discussion of gun safety when so-called legal gun owners flaunt their wares in such a provocative manner?

--Art Haug, Seattle

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