Richard Willerton, in his apparent advocacy of unregulated gun ownership, ignores significant history in his Jan. 21 letter, "Second Amendment is crucial." When our Constitution was adopted in 1789, 13 years after the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War was history, America was no longer a colony, and the Articles of Confederation had failed to establish a functional nation. Times and conditions had changed.
Our Constitution was composed with a system of checks and balances and enough elasticity to adapt to changing times and situations. For over two centuries, the Constitution has worked fairly well. The Second Amendment with provisions for "a well regulated Militia" and "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" presents seemingly conflicting sides of the arms issue. From the start, personal arsenals have been and continue to be restricted. Obviously the right to bear arms is not an absolute. Our Founders could not have envisioned automatic assault rifles, nuclear missiles, and the array of modern weaponry. Our government and people must continue to determine appropriate arms regulations.