— The U.S. leads the world in guns per capita with 310 million estimated in civilian circulation.
— Our firearms homicides are six times our Canadian neighbors per capita. This should be telling us something!
— There were 30,000 U.S. gun deaths in 2012 and such deaths are expected to surpass auto fatalities in a few years (because sensible regulations have auto deaths declining). Similar policies could do the same for gun deaths.
As ex-career military and a current gun owner, I support the right of law-abiding citizens to legitimately acquire and own appropriate type weapons for sporting use and personal protection, but semi-automatics with large magazine capacity accessories and designed for battlefield use are not justifiable in the public arena. The assault weapons ban which expired in 2004 needs to be reinstated.
Our democracy has survived for 236 years because of our resolve to solve tough national issues for the greater good through dialogue, common-sense application, moderation and compromise. This needs to continue with the gun control issue.
Enter the NRA, with its extremist “in-denial leadership” and obstructionist attitude, seeking to paint a political label on anyone who legitimately questions any gun control. They incite their membership by fanning the fires of fear (that the government will come knocking on their doors and confiscate their guns), creating weapons-buying hysteria that leads to an even greater proliferation of weaponry.
We need to develop national consensus on a reasonable, common-sense gun policy to counter the NRA. I urge you to contact your congressional representatives and quiz them regarding their positions on gun control (the NRA spent almost $20 million during the past political campaign to influence their support vote and publish their propaganda). Let your representatives know your opinion and vote count.
Support a gun control organization with a solutions platform. One suggestion is the Giffords’ non-profit, Americans for Responsible Solutions, which appears to have the leadership and counterbalance potential to stand up to the NRA.
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I respond to the Jan. 18 letter to the editor titled “Gun control won’t make gun violence go away.”
The writer is correct. And the Constitution guarantees the right to own a gun but it doesn’t say what kind, and the Supreme Court has stated that governments can regulate firearms.
The NRA has been planting fear in gun owners for years that the government is coming to confiscate their guns. I challenge any law-abiding gun owner to write in and enumerate at least one time in the last 50 years that the “government” has come to his home and demanded he/she turn over his/her guns. It hasn’t happened, and no one is proposing confiscation as a plan of action.
The people who really fear government confiscation of their firearms are people who probably should have their firearms confiscated. Required background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them is not an absolute fix, but if it keeps a firearm out of the hands of just one unstable person, good.
Prohibiting large magazines simply reduces the potential for multiple simultaneous murders. No bona fide sportsman needs a 30- or 100-round clip (unless he is expecting a banzai charge by 30 deer simultaneously). Closing the gun show loophole makes infinite sense. If I can’t pass a background check at a retailer, why should I be able to go to a gun show and buy whatever I want with no check?
Support the President’s initiatives. If they can keep one angry or unstable person from taking out his frustrations on children, I say pass the initiatives.
D. Rand Hillier