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I am writing in response to Dorothy Hughes’ letter in the [May 3-5] issue, “Don’t forget, come Election Day.”

She offers the same old rhetoric about automatic weapons not being needed for deer hunting. She is making the same mistake that only emotionally thinking people make. The Second Amendment to the Constitution has nothing to do with deer hunting.

Through history, we can see that all the greatest tyrants and mass murderers were the governments that took away the means of self-defense.

No neighbor, private citizen or company has inflicted on innocent people more bloodshed than governments in the 20th century. The one thing that all of them had in common was that they took away the citizens’ means of defense: their guns.

The communist government in the USSR between 1917 and 1987 murdered almost 62 million people. Mao’s communist China killed 77 million. Nazi Germany killed 21 million people. Pol Pot’s communist government killed more than 2 million.

The common policy denominator of all those regimes was gun confiscation. In Hitler’s case, he first had gun registration, then confiscation. No lone serial gunman can inflict that kind of carnage.

Our founding fathers knew about gun confiscation. Britain’s King George tried to confiscate the guns and ammo that the colonists used to free this country. That is why they wrote into the Constitution an amendment to restrict the federal government’s ability to take weapons.

It was not so we could go deer hunting. It was to enable the citizens to be able to defend the rights that are enumerated in that Constitution.

In fact, our right to bear arms enforces all other rights that are listed in the Constitution.

The means to secure our persons and our property from thugs and murderers has to be an armed people. No police officer, no security guard, no government will be able to keep you perfectly safe at all times.

As a free people, we have to take that responsibility for ourselves.

I am sympathetic with the families that have been touched by gun violence. But the only way that we can minimize this type of thing from happening is to have more law-abiding citizens carrying guns to intervene when someone tries to hurt us.

Federal involvement does nothing but put more restrictions on law-abiding citizens and too much power in the hands of government. Just remember the statistics of those killing by governments, and weigh them against the stats of individual shooters in a free country.

Governments that have taken away gun rights have killed 162 million people, contrasted to mass murder by individual shoots of 156.

I will take my chances with my gun any day.

Philip Payne, Warrenton