I am a registered Republican and I vote in every election. I own a swimming pool maintenance company, and have had a 47-year career, to date, in the residential pool industry: new construction, maintenance and repair, mostly right here in the Valley of the Sun. I am a Phoenix native.

At the age of 38, I returned to school and achieved a bachelor’s degree in forestry: stand and whole forest management, from Northern Arizona University. I have been married 43 years, have six children (five living), 16 grandchildren, and a daughter who told her mom, “This makes six, mom. One more and we win.” While attending NAU, I ran for Arizona States’ House in District 2 in 1992, Arizona’s Senate in 1994, and again for the House in 1996, as a Libertarian. My reason for choosing Libertarian at the time was that their platform was much more Constitutionally oriented than the other parties.

Jim Jochim (“A catalyst for change is desperately needed,” AFN, Dec. 28, 2012) is a caring American citizen. This is plain to see. And I agree with him that our nation needs leadership to be a catalyst for change. We cannot tolerate more mass shootings.

However, it is vitally important that we remember why the Second Amendment was included in the Constitution: “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” President George Washington.

This reason has not gone away. It is just as necessary, now, for the citizenry to “have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” as it was in the days of our nation’s birth, perhaps even more so.

Understand, if a person’s mindset is to kill one or many, that person will find a way to accomplish the goal, regardless of how many gun laws there are. Someone in that frame of mind will stop at very little to obtain a weapon.

Applying a non-constitutional band aid such as gun laws will not improve the situation. It will only make things worse. So the question is, how do we Constitutionally solve the problem?

I have also sent a letter to Sen. John McCain with a list of mass shootings, and the psychiatric, anti-depressant medications they were either taking or withdrawing from at the time of the murders. The overall majority of persons committing this particular kind of shooting are users of legal psychiatric, anti-depressant medications, some of which even state in their warnings that the medication may cause nervousness and irritability … the very problems they are supposed to relieve.

President Washington said we need to be armed and disciplined. This problem can be solved with much less hassle than pushing gun laws. We need to investigate the wholesale dispersal of man-made psychiatric drugs, and the physicians who prescribe them. AND begin disciplining our children with good, effective, consistent discipline so they may be the types of leaders we need for tomorrows’ crisis.

Drugs are not the answer to treat misbehavior. Consistent, effective discipline beginning very early in life is the first, best constitutional answer to the problem we are facing today.

Clifford M. Reid, Jr.

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