Vail Daily letter: Misstatements on guns |

Vail Daily letter: Misstatements on guns

Arn Menconi made a number of misstatements in his column “Fighting for gun control” (Valley Voices, Thursday’s Vail Daily).

First, he claims that the US Supreme Court says that Second Amendment rights are reserved to the states and their militias. Of course, the decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago say the opposite — that there is an individual right to have guns under the Second Amendment.

His second untruth is to claim that the militias mentioned in the Second Amendment are now the National Guard. That’s not what the law says. Federal law defines militia as all able bodied males between the ages of 17 and 45. See Title 10, US Code, Section 311. Colorado’s constitution has a similar definition in Article XVII, Section 1.

The third problem is that he ignores the Colorado Constitution. Article 2, Section 13 says:

“The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called into question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.”

Why do gun control advocates in Colorado keep ignoring this law?

Menconi goes on to relate how the states were allowed to have militias so they could keep slaves subdued. This is a new one on me. I’d have to see the historical record that supports this claim.

Menconi calls for licensing gun owners and registering firearms. This would make it easier for the government to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens; but it won’t help with criminals who, by definition, don’t obey laws.

Menconi likes waiting periods. He doesn’t say how long. A week, a month — what? It appears the Orlando shooter may have purchased his firearms a week or so before that incident, but in other cases firearms have been obtained long before being used in a shooting. And often by persons other than the shooter. Think San Bernardino or Sandy Hook Elementary School .

Proponents of waiting periods need to produce evidence that a substantial number of shooting cases involved guns purchased within some reasonable proposed waiting period, and that the shooter was the one who bought them.

Menconi also proposes limiting firearms purchases to one every 90 days. Why this number — why not 10 or 50 or 100? He offers no explanation for how any such limit would affect criminal use of firearms.

What about people who already own firearms? What good would a waiting period or limit on frequency of purchase do in their case?

Terry Quinn


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