The recent atrocity in Lewiston has raised, yet again, the argument about the possession of guns as a right under constitutional amendment No. 2.

Much of the discussions revolve around the checks on the mental capacity of people to own guns. It would seem that the vast majority of people agree that a mentally unstable person should not have access to guns.

The recent Lewiston shootings were a clear case where we have slipped up. With multiple red flags raised about the perpetrator’s mental state, we stumbled in taking the steps necessary to protect the community and separate this individual from guns.

The most common disagreement about the particulars of this event, and so many like it, is that it is not the gun that is the problem, but the mental state of the person holding it.

So, let me ask, what is the mental state of the person who wants to own guns meant for war, for battle, as distinct from hunting and target shooting? Should that by itself be a red flag?

Those who argue that it isn’t the gun that is the problem, but the mental state of the person, might consider this: why would someone want to own this type of battle gun?

Shouldn’t that type of weapon be part of the second half of amendment No. 2? Available only as part of a well-regulated militia?

Peter van Oosten, Greene

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