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I just read Joseph D. Becker’s opinion piece entitled “The Second Amendment: Bearing Arms (again)”, July 2, 2007. I am sadly disappointed in his characterization of the Second Amendment issue. First, he espouses an elastic interpretation of the Second Amendment to allow a different meaning than the plain meaning of the words. Times have changed, he alleges, so we should reinterpret themeaning of the words of the Constitution. Such an interpretation is wrong. To allow anyone to reinterpret the plain meaning of the words of the Constitution, other than as they were intended, is to allow for innumerable interpretations based on the whims of the reader.The right of the “people” is the right of the “people,” regardless of whether it is the right to bear arms or the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Second, he states that limiting possession of arms to semiprofessional soldiers would prevent another Virginia Tech type tragedy. Wrong again. A change in law is not going to stop a homicidallunatic. The author forgets to mention that a law already banned guns from that Virginia Tech campus where 32 innocents died. Mr. Becker also states that “the country has become violent with gunslingers.” Does that include the single mother who owns a gun for the protection of her family? He fails to see the distinctionbetween the criminal and the homicidally insane on the one hand, and the law-abiding gun owner on the other. Mr. Becker ends his opinion piece by saying it is a question of political will to make these changes. It is also a question of coming down from ivory towers and doing some heavy lifting, likehiring more police and prosecutors, and putting the homicidally insane back in the asylum. Edward Cappellano Rensselaer, N.Y.

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