- - Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Second Amendment reads, “[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Maryland makes it so difficult to even buy a gun (much less carry one) it should call itself the Infringe State rather than the Free State. To refer to our state as free has become a morbid joke.

We’re being taxed and regulated to death. Denying state residents the right to bear arms makes those same residents vulnerable victims of the lawless — those who do have arms. We’re supposed to rely on the police to protect us, but police cannot prevent violent crimes. They can only respond. By the time they arrive on the scene, the unarmed victim is a chalk outline on the ground.

Instead of making a legal resident who applies for a carry permit prove that he has a good reason for wanting the permit, the government should have to provide good reasons why that person should be denied. Not everyone should be granted a permit to carry a gun, nor should everyone be granted a driver’s license. Anyone who has been convicted of a violent crime or who is certifiably mentally impaired should, of course, be denied. It must be remembered, though, that the right to protect oneself is a natural, God-given right — and that makes it quite different from a driver’s license, which is not a right but a privilege.

Of course, the residents of Maryland are getting what they vote for, if they vote at all.

BERNARD MORNINGSTAR

Ijamsville, Md.