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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Real purpose of the Second Amendment

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At the time the Second Amendment was adopted, its purpose was to ensure that American citizens could own weapons to prevent the violent overthrow by internal or external military threats of our freely elected democratic government.

Therefore, at the founding of our country, citizens were permitted and encouraged to own military-style weapons. The Second Amendment was not meant to ensure that Americans could own target-shooting or hunting weapons.

If our government and fellow citizens now believe that having citizens armed to prevent the forceful takeover of our government is no longer appropriate, then -- and only then -- should we consider changing the Second Amendment. This has to be done by the democratic process, however, not by executive fiat.

RICHARD T. HANLEY

Boca Raton, Fla.

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