The Brattleboro Reformer

To The Editor,

In the most recent national discussions about the dangers of guns in our society there has been little analysis focusing on the US Supreme Court's role in the ongoing crisis of gun ownership in our country.

While it would diminish cause and effect to draw a singular connection between the Supreme Court's decision on the Second Amendment [DC v. Heller, 2008] and the current Oregon vigilante actions, one can fairly conclude that Antonin Scalia's majority decision does have significant responsibility in the perpetuation of our violent culture. To be sure the Oregon vigilantes owned weapons well before the court's rulings but making weapon ownership an ironclad individual right as opposed to the prerogative of a state-sanctioned militia only serves to reinforce the recourse to violence.

It is well known that in this country gun regulations have not been universally effective in curbing abuses but it should also be well known that the true majesty of the law is in the values it conveys to a society. Will our younger generations continue to embrace the nostrum that guns equal safety or could future justices send a more powerful and hopeful message that nonviolence is the real solution?


Tim Kipp

30 Chase Street, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301