In order to make progress on eliminating mass shootings in America, we will need to find common ground for our conversations. I propose the following that we can all agree on:

1. Mass shootings of innocent people are bad and we want to prevent them.

2. The Second Amendment has been part of the law of the land longer than any of us has been alive. Under it, we had an extended history without mass shootings of civilians.

If we can start there, then we can revisit the Second Amendment and recognize that its intent is right in its opening words: A well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state.

We don’t have a well-regulated anything when it comes to firearms. And it’s interesting to note that the Constitution is silent on the need for firearms for securing food, which would surely have been a necessity for many at the time of its writing.

We need to work together for our mutual defense, to protect ourselves from internal threats. Guns were designed to kill.

We know that. Let us harness the goodness of the majority to prevent future tragedies.

Alison Barker

Portland