To the Editor:

The current debate on safety in our schools and churches should not be framed as a gun issue. It should be about the sale of automatic (i.e. assault) weapons designed not for hunting, but to kill and/or wound enemy soldiers in combat.

Rifles and shotguns designed for game hunting and sports such as skeet shooting are exempt in this debate. Handguns are a separate and deadly issue, marketed and sold to individuals for personal and family protection.

Yet, they are responsible for the vast majority of deaths by firearms in America. Statistics that they prevent crime are nonexistent.

Congress cannot be relied upon to even debate the issue as they choose inaction even when members of their chambers were shot and gravely wounded. Why then should we expect them to react to the killing and wounding of adults and children in our schools and churches?

The latest slaughter of innocents should compel the states to take action against the sale and distribution of assault weapons, and I believe the right to enact such legislation can be found in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which begins with these words:

“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.”

Therefore, I believe the states are to regulate the sale of combat weapons and to require training and oversight in their use. Certainly any state enacting such legislation would be immediately challenged in court, thus bypassing the Congress and letting the Supreme Court address the issue.

I can only hope that at least one state will act along these lines.

Robert E. Lyon

retired U.S. Army colonel

Harker Heights

(6) comments


The author contradicts himself in the first paragraph and defines an assault weapon as an automatic. Legally, owning a fully automatic firearm costs money, time, and the ATF does a better vetting process than the FBI. The issue is not guns, it's the fact that we are using the gun issue to hide the mental issue. The majority of school shooters have been bullied and/or outcasts. We need to spend more time teaching responsibility and ethics, spend more money into the failing mental health programs and parents need to spend more time with the kids.


Also note, 2A mentions free state meaning country, not states.


There are no combat weapons being sold. There are semi automatic weapons available, and have been available since the early 1900's. How ironic that this man, who once took an oath to uphold the constitution, now holds it in contempt.


Hard to believe the author of this letter is a retired Army colonel. He doesn't even know what an assault rifle is.


P.S. Your legal analysis is also significantly flawed. See DC v. Heller and educate yourself.


Rights don't revolve around the usage of a firearm; now is not the time to use tragedy to truncate the rights of the people. Nor do rights require training, certification, or licenses. There are no "combat weapons" involved in these incidents or in this "debate". The debate ended in 1791. Perhaps you should refresh your oath and spend today studying our Constitution, Colonel. Dismissed.

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