Having taught U.S. history and constitutional law, I need to comment the Feb. 18 letter that referred to the "The Federalist Papers" in support of his criticism of gun control advocates.
"The Federalist Papers," though available now in book form, were not a book when written. They were a series of journalistic articles published in newspapers from 1787 to 1788 supporting the ratification of the Constitution, written under the pseudonym "Publius" by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay - only three of the Founding Fathers.
In fact, other Founding Fathers, i.e., Patrick Henry and George Mason, wrote and spoke in opposition, some as "Brutus" and "Cato" in "The Anti-Federalist Papers."
Further, the Founding Fathers did not directly ratify the Constitution. Separate State Ratifying Conventions did, sometimes by small margins.
Finally, the Second Amendment was not part of the original Constitution. Thus, there is no focused commentary about the right to bear arms in "The Federalist Papers."
Recent Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Second Amendment have recognized an individual right under it, but they also have acknowledged that government can adopt reasonable regulations on the use and possession of firearms. There is no absolute right to them. Hawaii's courts have done the same under Article One, Section 17 of the state's constitution.
Oh, yes, I served in the Army during the Vietnam War, fired assault weapons and knew some whose names are now on "The Wall."