finally, on a serious note ...

Kirsten Gillibrand has been appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's seat in the Senate. She is a Democrat, as Clinton is.

There has been some concern expressed by other Democrats and liberals regarding Gillibrand's stance on the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. She supports the right to bear arms.

I am a registered Democrat and consider myself quite liberal, but I am also a staunch supporter of our Second Amendment rights. While I do not currently possess firearms of any kind, I have done so in the past and probably will again some day.

Weapons such as machine guns or Gatling guns? Not acceptable for public ownership, except in the hands of licensed collectors. Semi-automatic, pump, lever action, single shot, revolvers, etc.? Absolutely acceptable.

Whether for personal protection or sport shooting (hunting, trap or skeet shooting, paper targets, what have you), possession of firearms is a Constitutional right. Not only for the reasons given above but also to protect ourselves from governmental tyranny. That is my interpretation of the reasoning behind that Amendment.

The N.R.A. often engages in inflammatory rhetoric - so much so that I long ago discontinued my membership - but so do their opponents. Fear of guns is unreasonable, as is fear of their confiscation by the government.

If the Federal government bans personal ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizens, we will all lose.

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