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Flaunting guns is not a right

Local print and broadcast media understandably continue to make much of two young Medford men who seek their “15 minutes of fame” at others’ expense. They parade about greater Portland, openly displaying semi-automatic rifles virtually identical to the one used recently by a demented young man to slaughter two innocent bystanders at a shopping mall in nearby Clackamas before using that same stolen weapon to end his own life. One victim was a beloved West Linn husband and father and successful businessman who enjoyed great community respect for his selfless service to others.

That these two visitors are brazen enough to demonstrate such despicable behavior on the heels of a notorious tragedy, which surely could not have escaped their attention, rubs salt in the grievous emotional wounds of the deceased victims’ families and other loved ones, as well as into those of so many others who mourn their loss, to say nothing of the deep psychic injuries to those who witnessed these heinous crimes.It is very important that everyone in our wonderful community knows that all who support the Second Amendment also support the entire Bill of Rights. They should know, too, that no responsible gun owner, including especially one who carries a lawfully concealed handgun, would ever intentionally provoke fear in innocent bystanders by unnecessarily displaying any firearm in public. Such conduct shows inexcusable disregard of the clear responsibilities attending one’s exercise of constitutional or other legal rights, as well as disdain for public peace. Such behavior requires prompt police response to calm innocent onlookers who justifiably conclude that they may well be in imminent danger of unwarranted death or great bodily injury.

These Medford bullies are a great discredit to all Second Amendment defenders and indeed to every responsible gun owner.

Ray D. Taylor is a resident of West Linn.




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