The murder of the German kid Diren Dede culminated in a Supreme Court ruling. Local government cannot regulate gun sales.

Montana's a gun state, I get it. I'm taking mine hunting next week. But since the violence of the 1960s and '70s our guns have procreated more guns and we've whittled away the cautions and core purpose of the Second Amendment ("A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..."). Left is the dangerously simplistic "God given" right to keep and bear arms.

After the bloodletting of two world wars, the Germans relocated God, beginning a new constitution with not a right, but a duty to protect and serve: "All human beings have dignity." Germans own a lot of guns; one in three persons. But the weapons are "well-regulated." It's clear if you shoot something besides a target or a duck you're probably in a whole lot of trouble.

That message of gun caution increasingly eludes America, replaced by a deadly right. The Montana Highway Patrol arm patch bears "3-7-77" in reverence to the vigilantes. The vigilante Markus Kaarma revered his God-given right to kill. Had we more often told him, loudly and clearly, "No!," Dede might still live.

Craig Rayle,


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