Setting foot on American soil for the first time in 1958, becoming an American citizen, to be privileged to live in this great and exceptional country — all of that I consider the happiest events and times in my life.

But there is one issue I never fully understood and that is the apparent preoccupation of many of my fellow Americans (as opposed to the frontiersmen) with guns, firearms and assault weapons and the whole gun culture that goes with it.

The Founding Fathers who wrote the Second Amendment to the Constitution, made “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” conditional on “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State …” That important part of the Second Amendment is seldom brought up during heated arguments about gun control and regulations.

It is estimated that 48,000 Americans are killed every year by “illegal” guns. Imagine, for a moment, the reaction if someone would stipulate that 48,000 American men, women and children would have to be executed every year in order to maintain easy access to firearms for most of the American people.

After the many recurring, horrifying and appalling massacres of men, women and children, President Barack Obama told the people: “These tragedies must end. We can’t tolerate this anymore.”

I hope that this time the nightmare and insanity can be brought to an end.

Klaus Kuck, Lewiston


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