The Supreme Court in Washington.

The Supreme Court in Washington. Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

I don't recognize my country anymore. Most of the time we were protected from the likes of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas because his ultra-right views were usually in the minority. Now, there is enough support for the court to decide against New York's concealed-carry restriction law, which has been on the books for more than 100 years. ["Supreme Court strikes down NY gun law," News, June 24]. Even if this decision does not immediately impact the use of metal detectors at concerts, sporting events, etc., that and other similar protections apparently will soon be on the Supreme Court docket when someone files a lawsuit seeking to ban them, too [“Fear more rights could be affected,” News, June 25]. The challenges have just begun.

Tom Gilroy, Melville

I am concerned about a reader saying he believes that the best way to prevent oppression by government is to have an armed citizenry ["Gun deal merely a GOP charade," Letters, June 14]. “That’s what the Second Amendment is about…” he wrote. This anti-government philosophy is exactly what motivates extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and encourages violence like on Jan. 6, 2021.

What this writer fails to appreciate is that guns rarely act to protect our liberties, but instead a free society is protected by our collective belief and dedication to a wide variety of institutions and values: free speech, a free press, fair and honest elections, an independent judiciary, universal education, the right of workers to organize, a belief in due process, and most of all a commitment to the rule of law that applies equally to all the people no matter their status, wealth or political position.

The danger is when we allow self-promoting leaders and highly partisan media outlets to systematically undermine and attack these very institutions and beliefs, thus destroying the foundation upon which our country has been built upon.

Vincent Lyons, Riverhead

One reader said our schools should have 15-foot fences with cameras and only one entrance ["Readers weigh in on gun issue," Letters, June 12]. I’ve seen these; we call them prisons. Is this how we want our children to spend six hours each day?

Robert Broder, Stony Brook

Conservatives and our courts likely will continue to work hard to make sure that the right of all Americans to own and openly carry a vast variety of firearms will not be abridged. Local, state and federal governments need to find ways to limit the use of assault weapons without putting restrictions on the current interpretations of the Second Amendment. New York has made a good start by restricting the purchase of body armor to law enforcement and military and requiring microstamping of ammunition. Limiting the purchase of high-velocity ammunition and other ammunition used in these weapons to military and law enforcement is not covered in the Second Amendment and would do much to prevent these weapons from being used in mass killings.

Rachel Ryan, East Northport

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