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Polls indicate that 85-90% of Americans and 81% of gun owners favor universal background checks. Suppose Congress someday passes a gun control measure that requires background checks on those who seek to buy guns from unlicensed dealers on-line and at gun shows. Just who are “the People” here in terms of the Second Amendment? Would it be a majority of members of Congress voting in accord with an overwhelming majority of Americans, or a minority of gun rights absolutists who would regard such a law as tyrannical?

I share with Mr. Mauer profound unhappiness with how dysfunctional our contemporary federal government is, and with many of our laws and judicial decisions. I even think some gun control measures may be unwise and unenforceable and that NY’s Safe Act may be unconstitutionally vague. There are legitimate interests on both sides of the gun control issue. But if a group of gun rights absolutists are unable to appreciate the public safety concerns of gun control measures and were to actually resort to violence against the government with military-grade weapons the predictable result would be disastrous, including the tragic deaths of rebellious militiamen.

Monique Weston, Keene

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