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Most rights Americans enjoy come with reasonable regulations and limitations to avoid abuse. For instance, we have freedom of speech, but lying in court under oath is called perjury. Perjury is a crime. If I spread lies to destroy someone's reputation, that person can sue me for slander and/or defamation of character.

We have the right to vote, but only once per election.

We can have a driver's license, but only if we are at least 16 years old, pass a driver's test and drive responsibly.

Law-abiding citizens also can own guns, which is fine, but there need to be reasonable regulations and limitations on that right, too.

Records of criminal activity or violence should be stored in a secure data bank that would be checked before anyone could buy a gun. If someone has those problems, they would forfeit that right. In a heated argument, Person A runs to a sports shop, buys a gun and then shoots Person B. A mandatory three-day waiting period might allow Person A to cool off and stop that shooting.

First time gun buyers should be required to take a course on use and safety before getting their guns. For maturity reasons, age 21 would be better for gun ownership than 18. And non-military citizens don't need to own assault rifles.

It would be possible to significantly reduce the threat of gun violence without removing most people's rights to own a gun. It really would.

Terry Schmeckpeper, Onalaska

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