Limit military-

style weapons

In view of the recent slaughters in El Paso and Dayton, I propose again an idea for constitutionally addressing the proliferation of military-style weapons in our country.

Here is that idea: No one can lawfully possess a military-style weapon unless, until and only for so long as that person is a member of a well-regulated militia.

What a military-style weapon is would be left to legislation. An obvious starting point is a weapon substantially similar to any weapon now used by the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard, or by the armed forces of another country.

AR-15s would fall into that category. So would any handgun effectively the same as those used by our armed services. So would AK-47s and SKS carbines. Exceptions could be considered for historic military weapons.

As for what a well-regulated militia is, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives to Congress the authority “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”

So, the regulations come from Congress.

Alan Souders

Fir Island

Wise to look for plastic alternatives

Ask any marine mammal and they’ll agree: Plastic has got to go.

Countless seabirds, seals, whales and other creatures have died from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic. Additionally, plastic microparticles roam our oceans and accumulate in these animals’ food supply and may end up on our plates if we eat seafood.

In many ways, plastic harms our health and that of other creatures. Isn’t it time for positive change?

Though we’ve grown accustomed to using plastic in our lives, we can easily unlearn this habit. Humans lived more than 99% of our history without it.

There are alternatives to this problematic packaging: Bring a reusable mug, water bottle, bag or takeout container to supermarkets, coffee shops and restaurants. The responsibility to leave plastic in the past doesn’t rest solely on our shoulders. Companies that package their products would be wise to invest in plastic alternatives.

Biodegradable plastics made from plants are a step in the right direction. We can transition toward little, if any, single-use packaging and get in the habit of reusing durable containers when we shop.

Rebecca Canright

Rockport

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