The Right to Own a Gun: My Unpublished Letter to the Denver Post

As the Denver Post apparently has declined to publish my reply to its hysterical and misleading op-ed of January 10, I reproduce it here:

Contrary to the claims of the Denver Post‘s Jan. 10 editorial, many millions of Americans own semi-automatic rifles demonized as “assault weapons,” as well as semi-automatic handguns with factory-standard magazines between 11 and 20 rounds, for self-defense. Such guns and magazines are common not only for personal protection but for every-day police work.

The laws the Post endorses would divert limited police resources to harassing and registering millions of peaceable gun owners, while doing nothing to limit the ability of criminals to obtain guns or commit crimes.

People have a moral right to defend themselves and their families from violent aggressors, and they have a moral right to buy and own the tools making that possible.

I appreciate the Post publishing other letters favorable to gun rights. Just today the newspaper published a letter from Paul Hsieh critical of “universal background checks.” Hsieh writes, ” If a law-abiding gun owner sells his used rifle via private sale to another law-abiding gun owner without a background check, there is no victim and no harm. . . . [M]andatory background checks for private firearms purchases merely impose unnecessary new burdens on the law-abiding, but will not stop the bad guys.”

So, although the paper’s editorial board has consistently come out for more infringements on the right to bear arms, it does allow for some alternative commentary.

Image: Wikimedia Commons