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    Letters | NRA task force weighs in

    Can’t we plot a course away from extremes on gun control?

    Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican congressman from Arkansas, led a National Rifle Association task force on school shootings. He discussed the findings of the task force last week in Washington.
    Shawn Thew/European Pressphoto Agency
    Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican congressman from Arkansas, led a National Rifle Association task force on school shootings. He discussed the findings of the task force last week in Washington.

    I consistently underestimate the ability of the National Rifle Association to successfully dictate policy (“NRA details plan to put armed guards in all schools,” Page A2, April 3). At times, I shake my head in amazement that there are fellow Americans who really think as they do. But these Americans do exist.

    NRA members and other Americans think that our federal government is so unstable, or fragile, that the right of citizens to bear arms protects us from leadership bent on encroaching upon, and eradicating, all our other rights.

    As an American, and as someone who wants to help reach the best solution for all, why can’t I accept that some of my fellow citizens believe this way? Rather than trying to ridicule them, shouldn’t I try to understand better the foundation for their beliefs?

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    On the flip side, I would deem it a victory if NRA members and other Americans who adopt their policies would at least try to understand MY point of view without accusing me of being unpatriotic or trampling on their Second Amendment rights.

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    Not every proposed gun-control solution should draw immediate suspicion that it is a veiled plot to breach the Second Amendment.

    What is most frustrating is that the NRA can truncate debate, and dictate which topics are and are not open for discussion.

    Perhaps the starting point is to remind the steadfast Second Amendment supporters that it is, in fact, an amendment, drafted by mortal men. It is not a commandment.

    Frederick D. Smith Jr.

    Quincy