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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gun control a state issue
It's time to set things straight on gun control laws, states' rights and the Constitution. It is my opinion that this debate is going nowhere because some key facts have been overlooked ("Another attempt at nullification," Commentary, May 14).
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro comes close to resolving the argument when he states that the Democrats attempt to pass gun control laws that are unconstitutional and defy Supreme Court rulings. This compels several states to pass nullification laws. In his piece, Mr. Shapiro implies that the federal government can overrule the state nullification because federal laws are supreme over state laws. Therefore the feds can enforce gun control laws.
In my opinion, if the states want to circumvent federal gun control laws they only need to exercise states' rights as detailed in the 10th Amendment. In part, this amendment says that if powers are not delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, it is up to the states to pass the law. The following is the key to the argument: Since the Constitution has no clause concerning gun control, the federal government simply cannot pass such laws. Further, the Supreme Court cannot support any form of gun control for the same reason. Any gun control law is illegal, since according to Article 6 of the Constitution, this document is the supreme law of the land. Admittedly Article 6 also says that federal laws are supreme as compared to state laws, but again the Constitution limits the laws the federal government can pass.
If my understanding is wrong, then the federal government can pass any law it desires, rendering the Constitution useless. But this flies in the face of the intentions of the Founders, who wanted a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The Constitution is the people's document, the rights are our rights and this is our country. This must never be forgotten or we will lose our freedoms.
FRED C. SEBLY
Mount Airy, Md.
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