To the editor,

Apparently, the freedom Americans enjoy rests on my shoulders. The National Rifle Association tells me so, right in the body of its FINAL NOTICE application for membership that came in the mail.

“Without you, our fight dies and so does our freedom,” (underlined) the two-and-a-half-page letter declares. That’s after an earlier warning that politicians all over the country are “coming after” my freedoms, “regulation by regulation.”

Here’s the text of the Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The NRA grounds its arguments against any gun restrictions on “the right … to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” It always ignores the opening phrase.

It’s time to focus on a different word in the Second Amendment: Regulated. That word clearly gives lawmakers the power to regulate gun ownership. Let’s see if anyone points that out during the many court challenges to new gun laws that our judiciary will hear in the coming years.

You want to own a gun, join a “well-regulated militia” (National Guard?). Gun regulations are coming. The NRA would help itself by getting behind those that make sense.

Two points about that Final Notice membership application from the NRA.

1. I resented receiving it, and was mildly irritated by the thought of my mail delivery person possibly noticing I received mail from the NRA.

2. But, a few days later, I put another item with the NRA logo appeared in my mailbox. The Final Notice included a prepaid envelope in which to return my application. I gathered up as much paper trash as I could stuff into the envelope and put it in the mail. It was a quarter inch thick and must have weighed four or five ounces (should be some Postage Due.) A small gesture, to be sure, but maybe it will cause the NRA to delete my address from its mailing list.

I resisted the urge to tape the return envelope to a brick.

Kent Ford

Columbia