Dear Editor:

We hear constantly about the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms but we have forgotten about the Declaration of Independence upon which the constitution is based. In part it states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among those are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

What does the pursuit of happiness mean in today's United States? Our country is the most violent of any civilized society in the world and the prevalence of guns, particularly assault, military-type guns, has planted fear in many of us. I'm not including those used for hunting and sport.

Living in fear does not represent happiness. Many of us don't feel free to attend large public events such as the Boston Marathon or a movie in a large city. School children are not even safe in small-town schools. College and university campuses are not free from the threats of violence, particularly guns. The Newtown massacre could have happened anywhere, including Decorah. This is not living in pursuit of happiness.

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