Like the vast majority of people I abhor the use of firearms in indiscriminate killing, mass or otherwise.

However, I am also an adamant supporter of the Second Amendment and view it as a vital deterrent to the loss of our freedoms from a foreign power or a too powerful central government.

So, how do we attempt to solve the former problem without gutting the Second amendment?

I offer the following: End voluntary military service. Replace it with mandatory national service for all individuals using the Israeli system as a model.

According to Wikipedia, “National military service is mandatory for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18, although Arab (but not Druze) citizens are exempted if they so please, and other exceptions may be made on religious, physical or psychological grounds. In 1998–2000, only about 9% of those who refused to serve in the Israeli military were granted exemption.”

Alternative, non-combat, national service could be performed by those who are philosophically opposed or are deemed, physically, emotionally and mentally able but are unwilling to serve.

After completing what would amount to an equivalent of boot camp, each conscript would receive a period of training for their role in the military.

Upon completing that training, further active military service or training would be voluntary. Those who do not choose to continue in active service would become members of the reserves. Each would be provided with the necessary equipment for service in the reserves including combat armament.

Such a system would serve to screen out individuals who are found to be physically, emotionally or mentally incapable of responsibly bearing arms. It would train those found capable, how to do so safely and responsibly.

It would satisfy the Second Amendment by providing arms to every responsible individual. It would also satisfy the “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” clause of the Second Amendment.

This plan checks all the boxes brought up by Jeffrey Davis in his letter as well as those voiced by other advocates of gun ownership restrictions without invoking licensing and, thereby, nullifying the Second Amendment. (See: “Sensible gun laws are needed,” Sept. 4 Times-News.)

However, I seriously doubt that it would put an end to all unexplainable and senseless mass murders because, as the Shadow stated, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” No screening can be 100% effective.

I firmly believe that the problem is not guns but the deterioration of morality, ethics and reverence for life that has occurred in our society over the past 60 or 70 years.

I also believe this is largely the result of a concurrent decrease in Christian religious upbringing and practice. Just my opinion.

Mick Bloom

LaVale

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