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I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and I do respect responsible gun owners. Where we live, hunting is extremely popular and necessary as the deer population gets out of hand as well as groundhogs and other game. I ate venison and venison stew when growing up, I ate burgers made from groundhog meat, and even fried rabbit and baked wild duck.

My father owned quite a few guns, and none were assault weapons. All of the guns were locked away where young children could not access them. The ammunition was hidden in another location. He belonged to the NRA, a once proud and respected organization. When the NRA began to go crazy and wanted assault weapons, automatics and semi-automatics, and unregistered handguns to be in the hands of just anybody, my father quit the NRA in disgust.

The NRA and gun manufacturers give hundreds of millions of dollars to elected officials now; this was never what our founding fathers wanted when they wrote the Second Amendment. They are turning over in their graves. Last year, over 35,000 Americans died from being shot by guns. Islamic terrorists are not nearly as good at killing Americans as that.

And yet this very same nation that allows the mass slaughter to continue, that permits kids going to school to be afraid of being shot denies health care to millions of Americans because they can't afford it. Explain to me how that makes sense?

John Bradburn

Washington