In response to Nancy Mayer’s letter in the April 29 South Whidbey Record, “What does the right to bear arms really mean?” It means the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution both confer that right to lawful citizens. It is not, and never has been a right to shoot up a school, church or grocery store. Those acts are crimes, and criminals committing violence must be apprehended, prosecuted and imprisoned.
Millions of lawful citizens use firearms responsibly for hunting, shooting sports and self-defense. It is vital that the lawful rights of citizens be protected, and that violence and criminal behavior be denounced and criminals removed from our society.
Washington State already has some of the nation’s most restrictive laws governing the sale of firearms, including mandatory background checks and waiting periods for the transfer of all firearms.
Our rights apply to lawful citizens: our Second Amendment right to bear arms, same as Nancy has her First Amendment right to express her opinion.