OK. Let's just go along with the gun lobby's tendency to take the second part of the Second Amendment out of context, so that it reads as follows: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Period.

That means anyone could carry a weapon or bomb on an airplane without restriction. The security checkpoints at airports would be illegal. Anyone could carry a gun anywhere, any time -- whether they are felons, mentally disturbed, newly fired from a job, jilted by a lover or people with an uncontrollable temper.Anyone could build and store any kind of bomb without restriction. This would include pipe bombs, anthrax bombs, even atomic weapons. Anyone could carry a loaded gun or bomb into a shopping mall, school, government building or church.

Children of any age could carry guns to school and onto playgrounds. People in prisons and mental institutions would be allowed to carry loaded guns.

The government must stop meddling with gun owners, bomb builders, and those who stockpile weapons of all kinds.

Even the NRA and the most ardent gun advocates would complain that the above scenarios are absurd. But again "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

No, the Second Amendment only makes sense when the full text is included: "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." Courts have upheld that the first part is necessary for the correct interpretation of the latter part. This amendment prohibits only the national government from limiting the right to carry weapons, not the states.

And why was it adopted? So that Congress could not disarm a state militia.

Jon M. Taylor

Kaysville