Once again, V. Paul Reynolds sounded the alarm about threats to gun rights in his column: “Sportsmen lost a good friend when Justice Scalia died” (March 13). A long time hunter, the justice was instrumental in the District of Columbia v. Heller decision in 2008 which supported the right of an individual to own a firearm for “traditionally lawful purposes,” such as self-defense in the home. 

Scalia was the author of the 5-4 majority opinion in which the court held that the Second Amendment right, like most rights, is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.

How likely is it that a new Supreme Court justice — tomorrow, next year or whenever Congress sees fit to do its duty by voting on the new nominee — would lead to a reversal of that decision?

Heller has stood the test of time for seven years and was reinforced by McDonald v. Chicago in 2010, which extended the District of Columbia judgment to all the states. Any new challenge would have to make its way slowly through the court system. Just where is there a case that would deprive a rightful gun owner of his weapon?

Reynolds went on to say that Justice Scalia represented “a slender thread of sanity in a society run amok.” A society that sees and tolerates a daily tide of firearm carnage does, indeed, seem to be running amok.

Edward Walworth, Lewiston

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