To the editor — The Second Amendment to the Constitution is widely misinterpreted by those who see it as an unrestricted right to own firearms. In fact, James Madison, when he wrote it, had the states’ right to form and to field military units in mind.

The key phrase in Madison’s sentence was “well organized,” which means a military unit with competent command and control. That is the essential difference between a credible militia and a mob.

Madison, the primary author of both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, was a man of great foresight, and he did not use that phrase without due consideration.

The mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 operated based on a presidential suggestion, but the commander-in-chief did not carry through and direct the action as a proper leader would do. He bugged out and went to a party rather than directing the actions of these people -- who like to claim that they are a legitimate militia.

Personally, I believe that the whole affair was a treasonous action; but when the president failed to exercise proper command and control, it became a riot because of lack of competent military leadership.

DOUGLAS PATTERSON

Yakima