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Educate yourself on the gun issue

As a Massachusetts and Federally-licensed firearms dealer, and a Massachusetts State Police certified Firearms Safety Instructor, I think that it is fair to say that I have at least a little knowledge of firearms, their use and the laws pertaining to them. You seem to be sorely lacking in some of those areas, and I really wish that you would educate yourself before holding forth on the gun issue.

Anyone who purchases a gun from a dealer anywhere in the United States must go through a Federal background check in a system run by the FBI. This is the National Instant Check System (NICS). Some states (Massachusetts, for example) have their own background check systems as well. Because of the potential for abuse of the NICS, only licensed dealers are allowed to use it, and then only for legitimate business. This is one of the problems with applying NICS to private sales between individuals; it’s not as easy as the gun control supporters would have us think.

While Nevada’s gun laws may be lax, Nevada also has a low crime rate, as do other states that have “lax” gun laws. Armed citizens are, in fact, a deterrent to crime, and the states and cities with the highest crime and murder rates (Chicago, for example) also have very strict gun laws. It may be trite, but the old saying “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” is true.

As for semiautomatic Modern Sporting Rifles that are derived from military rifles, the similarity is mainly a matter of appearance. Semiautomatic sporting rifles and shotguns have been around for over 100 years, long-predating their use by the military. “Assault weapon” is a scare term invented by the gun control lobby; in fact a baseball bat can be an “assault weapon.” Selective-fire assault rifles such as the M16 and the M4 can be fired in semiautomatic mode — one shot per trigger pull — or in full-automatic (machine gun) mode — multiple shots per trigger pull. Full-automatic firearms are very strictly controlled under federal and state laws, and they are almost never used in crime. Attachments such as the “bump stock” used by the Las Vegas killer should probably be controlled under the same laws as machine guns.

In short, there’s nothing unsuitable about Modern Sporting Rifles like the AR-15, and the basic design ideas and ergonomic improvements are now found in the hunting fields and in such rarified places as the Olympics. If some people are scared of guns and don’t like their modern appearance, that’s something that they need to get over. Gun design is not about to go back 100 years any more than automobile design is about to go back to the horseless carriage.

Brooks Lyman

Concord Cartridge Company

Groton

Thank you to donors for Harvest Fair Silent Auction

The Union Congregational Church in Groton acknowledges and thanks the businesses and individuals who so graciously donated to this year’s Harvest Fair Silent Auction.

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Jack O’Lantern Wine & Spirits, Bailey’s Bar & Grille, Johnson’s Restaurant & Dairy Bar, Lois Berge, Lavender, Blackbird Café, Barb Lefebvre, Connie Brown, Steve and Charlene Legge, Paul Brown, Luth’s Family Karate, Bruno’s Pizza, Brian and Brenda MacDonald, Janet Carey, Bonnie Marchesani, Country Butcher and Deli, Mariano’s Restaurant, Courtyard Marriott Littleton, Bonnie Martin, Tracey Smith/Facets, Gail Miller, The Farmhouse Café, Moison’s Ace Hardware, Filho’s Cucina, Nashoba Valley Dance Academy, Gervais Ford, New England Corvette, Gibbet Hill Grill, Patriot Pizza, Bob Goudey, Salt & Light, Groton Hair, Inc., Sheila Smith, Joanne Hanson, Skip Lloyd, Ellen Hargraves, Tavern in the Square, Ixtapa, Margaret Wheeler.

All proceeds from the Fair will be donated to Teen Challenge, which provides services to youth, adults, and families struggling with life-controlling problems, such as addiction.

Liz Brennan and Sara Zambuto

Silent Auction Coordinators

Groton

America’s divisions represent a history lesson on our Constitution

To say that the United States is divided today is almost an understatement. Some might say that we are at civil impasse. While our national tension may seem new and frightening, history shows that its roots extend back to the ratification of our Constitution.

By 1787, our nation had cast off the chains of foreign oppression. The taste of victory was very short-lived because Americans immediately found themselves thrust into a crucial debate over how they would govern themselves.

This debate involved two opposing factions, the Federalists and the anti-Federalists. The Federalists supported the establishment of a strong central government. Their ranks included large land owners, merchants, planters and creditors. They promised security through a strong national Constitution that gave the government the power to raise an army and impose taxes.

Having just experienced the oppression of Great Britain, the anti-Federalists were suspicious of such a government. Largely composed of small farmers and debtors, the anti-Federalists recoiled at the notion of an army. They feared that the Federalists would use it, along with the power of taxation and the authority of the federal court, to create an aristocracy, resulting in their bondage.

Ratification of our Constitution was never guaranteed. This uncertainty provoked a compromise and the establishment of the Bill of Rights. These 10 amendments established explicit rights to freedom of the press, of religion, to assemble, to be secure in person. It prohibited self-incrimination. It also granted the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. Common people could now defend themselves against threats in their daily lives and, if necessary, against a government gone out of control.

Today’s supporters of the Second Amendment trace their legacy back to the anti-Federalists, and share their concern over centralized government power. Unlike liberals and progressives, they are cautious, if not wary, of government authority. To them the history of human society is largely the story of government abuse and oppression.

To those who view these reservations as unfounded, they would pose this question: What has changed about human nature that would reasonably warrant someone to believe that free people should ever relinquish their right to defend themselves?

Dennis Galvin

Westford

Rosary Rally will pray for world peace

We are notifying all parishioners that we are going to have a Rosary Rally, to pray to Our Lady of Fatima, for peace in the world and for our country.

You are all invited to pray with us at Whitely Park on Saturday, Oct. 14 at noon, for about an hour.

If you cannot stand for that long, you are asked to bring a folding chair.

You never know who we can touch by praying in a public place, outside of our Church.

Yours in Christ,

Deacon Ray Gagnon

Saint Anthony’s Church

Shirley