Philip Koch’s Maine Voices op-ed (July 13) on the meaning of the Second Amendment is correct. Militias were the first instance of what would become our National Guard and under the Second Amendment would bear arms. What isn’t addressed in the op-ed is the reason some won’t agree with this view.

The National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers have profited from the 350 million guns now in circulation in our country. Gun sales and the lucrative after-market they create have driven a different interpretation of the Second Amendment. Our lawmakers have been influenced with campaign finance money to block sensible gun laws that are needed to stem the mostly unregulated flow of guns into the hands of our citizenry and onto our streets.

The Supreme Court’s misguided decision on this issue needs to be reversed because Congress’ protection of the Second Amendment has now risen far above any protection afforded the American people from gun deaths. Since the 1960s, over 1.5 million people have died from a bullet in this country. That’s more than in all American wars combined, going all the way back to the Revolutionary War.

The fierce protection of the Second Amendment demanded by those business organizations and supported by Congress is nothing more than a profit-motivated charade that has given us the highest per capita gun deaths of all developed nations in the world, by a wide margin. Congress has failed the American people.

Fred Egan

York Harbor