Dear Editor:

I recently returned from a trip with my family to the scenic country of Switzerland. It was wonderful, except for the patient endurance one must exercise when going through airport security. On the flight back home I forgot to put my shampoo and toothpaste in my checked luggage and put it in my overnight carry-on as I do when I visit family in Saint Paul.

When I passed through the gaggle of officers with their see-through machines, these two items got confiscated. I had purchased my 12-ounce bottle of Redkin shampoo at Smock's Barbershop. It was about half full. Four ounces over the legal travel limit. My 6-ounce large economy tube of Pepsodent I had picked up at the Bargain Outlet. It was about 1/3 down so I was 2 ounces in the danger zone. All in all, I guess, I was a 6-ounce criminal.

I tell you this not to warn you about these local terrorist suppliers but because when I got home I read of an attack on a Milwaukee suburb Sikh temple where a man shot six worshipers with a gun he purchased as easy as toothpaste. Wade Michael Page had used a repeating assault weapon. He had learned to use it in the military but they had failed to teach him the difference between Sikhs and Muslims, nor how to control his misinformed stereotyped violent hatred. This followed another recent killing and wounding of 16 people in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater. This madman had purchased his ammunition for his repeating automatic weapon over the Internet. It was probably delivered to his door by the friendly brown UPS truck or a Fed Ex red, white and blue.

After losing my shampoo and toothpaste, I thought to myself. "Has our nation gone nuts?"

I have read the arguments of people defending their second amendment rights to bear arms. One political party even has a platform affirming it. Though I can't think it actually was a defense of the right for every nut to easily own a personal lethal weapon. Even after a rereading it seemed to me more the right for states to maintain responsible standing militias. And I don't know a good responsible hunter (and I do know many) who actually think they need repeating assault rifles to stalk deer, turkeys or occasional lovable mourning doves hiding in the trees or hills.

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