The Second Amendment to the Constitution states that "A well regulated militia being necessary … the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The arms referred to were muzzleloading single-shot muskets and citizens were expected to bring their own to conflicts.

Today, we are defended by paid armed forces and the citizen soldiers of the Reserves and National Guard. They and law enforcement are armed with weapons designed for their use and whose purpose is often to kill.

The Second Amendment gives citizens these rights, but it need not extend to the weapons designed for and used by the military. There is no legitimate civilian use for automatic or semi-automatic weapons. These are not target weapons or sporting weapons, but killing weapons. Otherwise, why the term "assault rifle"?

Despite the opinions of Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association, our legislators should show some backbone and remove these weapons from Second Amendment protection.

Thelma Iker

Salt Lake City