On constitutional rights,

letter writer strikes out

Regarding the March 31 letter, "2nd Amendment says 'well-regulated' militia":

It is appropriate that this letter appeared on the opening day of baseball season because it is the latest strikeout for the anti-freedom crowd.

Strike 1, grammatically: The independent introductory clause (note the comma) referred to neither modifies nor restricts the right of the people that the amendment is protecting. Further, the "people" are the same people whose rights are protected in the other articles of the Bill of Rights.

Strike 2, historically: The militia is the entire able-bodied citizenry, as clearly defined by other writings of the Founding Fathers, whose intent was to preserve and protect an individual right, not a group nor state one. Remember, there was no National Guard until more than 100 years after this amendment was written.

Strike 3, legally: The Supreme Court has reviewed and dismissed this argument, as well as others, and ruled in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment does indeed protect an individual right of the people and not a state or federal option. That is the law of the land.

PHILIP BLANCH

Egg Harbor Township

The Bill of Rights

applies to individuals

Regarding the March 31 letter, "2nd Amendment says 'well-regulated' militia":

I'd like to give the letter writer a couple of facts.

Military personnel draw a firearm by the authority of their base commander and the commander-in-chief, the president, not under the Second Amendment. American police personnel certainly do not draw a firearm on the authority of the amendment. Police in other countries that do not even have such an amendment still carry firearms.

The Bill of Rights was written for the citizens of the United States, not just for government employees, civil servants, political hacks or military personnel.

SAM LEONETTI

Egg Harbor City

Founders were clear

about right to bear arms

Regarding the March 31 letter, "2nd Amendment says 'well-regulated' militia":

The writer tries to define a "well-regulated militia" as being "local police and the National Guard and Army, etc."

Such logic is like saying that only barbers have a right to razors and only mechanics have a right to tools. What did the Founding Fathers say about this subject?

Richard Henry Lee said, "A militia, when properly formed, are in fact, the people themselves ... and include ... all men capable of bearing arms."

Thomas Jefferson said, "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."

George Mason said, "To disarm the people - that was the best and most effective way of enslaving them."

The point is the people were the militia and that is why the Second Amendment states that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Many who seek to nullify the intent of the Second Amendment twist, turn and spin it to suit themselves. Don't be surprised if one of them says the right to bear arms means you have the right to wear a sleeveless shirt.

ROBERT J. VERTOLLI

Vineland