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Jim Chattin, Devils Lake, N.D., Published January 26 2013

Letter: Stupid madness from NRA

Last month, a suicidal and homicidal young man shot his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and proceeded to murder six adults and 20 first-grade kids.

In response, President Barack Obama has specified taking some measures to try to limit the deadly potential these weapons have in the hands of murderers and psychopaths. By and large, these measures seem eminently reasonable.

But not to the gun lobby. The National Rifle Association, gun manufacturers, Rush Limbaugh and many – if not most – gun owners complain: “The government wants to take all of our guns away!” “Obama doesn’t want any American to own a firearm!” “Protect the Second Amendment!”

Of course, this crowd of “patriots” seriously believes the solution should be teachers toting guns in the classroom or armed security personnel stationed in every school or armed volunteers patrolling the school perimeter. Let’s level the playing field, they say, so that when a bad person with a gun invades a school or home or business or place of worship or track meet or movie theater, there will be lots of good people armed and ready to take them out!

What stupid madness. Just wait until the first innocent people are mistakenly gunned down by such civic-minded vigilantes. Or when the local police appear and don’t have a clue who, among all the trigger-happy citizens, is the real psychopath?

And just get over the wrap-thyself-in-the-flag mantra about the Second Amendment. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State ...” etc., was written because our founders feared the establishment of a standing army. Today, of course, it’s more like, “To ensure a productive hunting season, to protect private property, to let me add as many firearms to my collection as possible, and to retain the ability to oppose the democratically elected government of my country with armed force, my right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

And they think Obama is overreacting?