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posted: 3/3/2013 4:40 AM

Gun rights include vast responsibility

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Gun rights include vast responsibility

Our nation's Constitution was never meant to be "fixed in stone." It's a living, breathing manifesto subject to change as we evolve as a nation, society and a people.

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For those rigid supporters of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms, the time has come to understand we are a far different country than in 1789. Make no mistake, Americans should have the right to own a gun, but that right comes with tremendous responsibility, and because of that, there should be rigid safeguards and testing in place to minimize the opportunity for anger and mental health issues to end up causing the tragedies seen in Connecticut and elsewhere.

We should not only test gun owners periodically for their mental and emotional stability but others in their families as well, and we should stringently enforce statutes calling for the gun registration as well as reporting of lost or stolen weapons.

While these measures will not solve the root cause of gang violence in this country, they would represent responsible first steps toward monitoring the availability and uses of assault weapons and hand guns among the public at large and could possibly lead to a significant reduction in the availability of these weapons to street gangs. After that, it's up to law enforcement and the sociologists to tackle the complex street gang issue.

Dean Dranias

Aurora

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