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In their letters (Editor's Mailbag, Aug. 8), Bob Wynhausen and Robert B. Harris outrageously call for repeal of the Second Amendment and confiscation of firearms. They argue that tyrannical government is rare, so defense against tyranny isn’t needed. The supreme irony is that they want to establish the very tyranny they claim is rare.

For perspective, the number killed in mass shootings is a tiny fraction of the number killed in traffic accidents, yet no one is demanding that motor vehicles be banned.

My primary point, though, is that governments cannot rightly act against the interests of the people. People have a natural right to conduct their lives exactly as they see fit, as long as they respect the equal rights of others to do the same. The writers tragically do not seem to agree with this self-evident principle. They instead view themselves as part of a superior ruling elite that is entitled to direct force against utterly harmless fellow citizens who are merely exercising their inalienable right to be prepared for an effective defense. The only justifiable use of force in this situation is the defensive force the besieged citizens could rightfully employ to protect their rights.

The writers, who claim to be concerned about the safety of citizens, are actually placing citizens at risk of a bloody civil war as they work to strip them of their rights and turn them into defenseless subjects. Unfortunately, this is the kind of lunacy we have learned to expect from the left.

Richard Hirschi

Albany (Aug. 11)

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