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Are we nuts? Another substantial slaughter by some disgruntled people with guns [“14 dead after attackers open fire at holiday party,” Page One, Dec. 3].

During the centuries preceding our national independence, firearms had changed little: single shot, 30 seconds or so to reload, often heavy and, by current standards, awkward and of limited accuracy. This was the state of affairs during the writing of the Second Amendment.

In contrast, today’s weapons are extremely sophisticated, accurate and deadly. I cannot imagine our highly rational Founding Fathers approving the random, easy availability of popular handguns or assault-type rifles capable of firing continuously up to 30 rounds.

To diminish the plethora of tragic incidents involving guns, we badly need regulated availability of firearms and multiple-round ammunition clips. When Germany has about 1/20th the murder rate by firearms as the U.S. does, or Japan (country of 127 million people) has fewer killings by gun than almost any American town of modest size, you would think the rate of killing and wounding by firearms in the U.S. could be diminished by intelligent laws guiding intelligent practice. Yes, Germany and Japan have stricter gun regulations than we Americans would ever accept, but at what cost do we endure almost free access to multiple types of guns, ammunition and magazines?

It is a terrible irony that the Islamic State would love to achieve the degree of slaughter that we Americans inflict on ourselves.

–Richard D. Prince, Kenmore