I was interested to read David Trahan’s article, “Maine Compass” (“The Maine Constitution affirms owning firearms is individual right,” Jan. 17), regarding the right of all citizens to own guns, in particular, as protected in the Maine Constitution (1987 Amendment to Article 1, Section 16).

This is a huge relief to read because it solves that pesky problem of how to protect school children. Strictly interpreting that amendment, the majority of Maine children are citizens and, therefore, constitutionally allowed to own guns.

Does that mean that we don’t have to worry about kindergarten teachers and security guards “packing,” because the kids legally are entitled to carry their own weapons?

Since Trahan was careful to separate the use of firearms for hunting from the use for self-defense, would he say that children are allowed to take weapons to school for self-defense?

May we please just say that we are a reasonable society? Is it reasonable to say flatly that “all citizens” have the right to bear arms? Does that include 4-year-old citizens and the violently delusional? Does the term “arms” refer to all arms? RPGs and anti-tank missiles?

This is not an all-or-nothing debate. This should be a national conversation about what is acceptable to us as citizens. In Maine, perhaps we should have the same conversation about whether to amend our own amendment.

Mary Stuart


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