A retired attorney, I have several comments regarding "A View from the Gallery" (9-25-19). First, the author appears to cite the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision of District of Columbia et al v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) in support of a broad proposition that restrictions on gun ownership may not occur unless the 2nd Amendment is amended. Incorrect. While SCOTUS in Heller explicitly ruled the 2nd Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, stated: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." Indeed, the 4th Circuit of the US Court of Appeals subsequently ruled that Maryland could ban certain semi-automatic weapons with military type features (Kolbe v. Hogan, 849 F. 3d 114, 2017). SCOTUS declined to hear the case on further appeal, allowing Kolbe to stand. Second, the author does not name or provide a citation for Heller and lists an incorrect date for Heller. Heller was decided on June 26, 2008. The author references June 26, 2015, the date SCOTUS decided Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (right to same-sex marriage). As it is important for individuals to be able to independently investigate truth, accurate reference to and analysis of a seminal decision such as Heller is critical.

David Berkey

Joseph, Ore.

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