Why we support McLachlan

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Dear Editor,
Three letters in last week's Plaindealer calling for the recall of Colorado State Representative Mike McLachlan claim he does not support the Second Amendment. Rep. McLachlan, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, promised to uphold Second Amendment rights when he campaigned last fall, which he did during discussions earlier this year in the House Judiciary Committee of which he is a member. He did not believe, however, that every suggestion made by the National Rifle Association and similar organizations was acceptable and should be voted into law in Colorado.
The fact that he stood for reasonable rights for gun owners seems to have escaped his critics. For example, many of his Democratic colleagues wanted to limit the number of bullets in a clip to 10. McLachlan declared that he would vote against that limitation unless that amount was raised to 15, which was the number ultimately agreed to by the House Judiciary Committee and subsequently passed into law. Through effective compromise, McLachlan was able to negotiate a higher number of bullets per clip, something which should have gained him some points with gun enthusiasts, not their condemnation.
The NRA would like to have no background checks, no required licensing, no limitations on assault weapons and is OK with the idea of guns in churches, bars, college campuses, ball parks and stadiums, public transportation, political gatherings, etc. They have perpetrated the myth that the government wants to collect everyone's guns, an idea that has not actually been proposed in the Congress or in any state in the nation. The Second Amendment seems to be interpreted by the NRA as the freedom for anyone to have any kind of weaponry anywhere, a far departure from American revolutionary times when the Second Amendment was written when "well armed militias" consisted of men with single shot muskets that took at least a minute to reload. Many of us are tired of the extreme demands of the NRA and their allies who have made no change in their opinions in the wake of the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. That's why we support legislators like Rep. McLachlan who take a balanced approach to gun regulation and have the courage to say, "enough."

Jon and Rosemary Esty
Ridgway