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Letters to the Editor: We need an answer on gun violence now, not Newsom’s 28th Amendment

A man in a suit speaks at a podium
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at San Quentin State Prison on March 17.
(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)
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To the editor: While Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal for a 28th Amendment is an admirable effort to confront the gun violence epidemic, a better proposal would be to repeal and replace the 2nd Amendment through Congress and the states.

By replacing the convoluted language of the 2nd Amendment with a list of specific rules for gun ownership, gun violence can be reduced.

The country needs a national response because state laws often conflict with each other. For instance, California bans assault rifles, but a shooter can purchase one in another state.

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The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure falls on deaf ears in many states. Gun violence costs thousands of lives and injuries, as well as billions of dollars in medical bills, police investigations, lost work productivity and other related matters — not to mention the emotional toll on families.

Bob Ladendorf, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I don’t oppose Newsom’s call for a constitutional amendment on gun control like Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Berkeley’s law school, does. He thinks the governor’s plan is “terrible.”

But I think the time and energy it would take to ratify a 28th Amendment could be put to better use.

Instead of taking decades to secure approval of two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states, I believe a gun summit at Camp David — with gun-rights advocates, law enforcement and survivors — could hammer out new, commonsense gun safety measures in a matter of days.

Impossible, you say? Isn’t that what critics of President Carter said when he brought old warriors Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel together at Camp David in 1978?

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I applaud Newsom for thinking outside the box. But speaking practically, I urge President Biden to convene a gun summit at Camp David as quickly as possible.

Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: Rather than take on the daunting ask of amending the Constitution, Newsom should take an approach that would be entirely consistent with the 2nd Amendment’s wording.

The 2nd Amendment begins with “a well-regulated militia” — not just a militia, but a a well-regulated one. An honest interpretation would be that as long as restrictions do not impede the formation of a regulated state militia, they could be deemed permissible.

My suggestion to Newsom: Allow widespread ownership of firearms, but all such arms (some types of small arms might be exempted) would be held by the California National Guard and could be accessed and used only through the Guard.

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David Perel, Los Angeles

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