• Push for gun control
    May 09,2013

    Push for gun control

    How many outrages can we endure before we take meaningful action on gun control? The opponents trot out the same tired arguments every time. They are all seriously flawed and should not be taken seriously.

    “The Second Amendment gives us unrestricted rights to own guns.” Not true. None of our constitutional rights is unlimited. We lose our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness if we commit an offense that earns us time in jail. We cannot yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, and certain classes of weapons are already banned for private ownership.

    “U.S. citizens must be armed to protect us from our own government.” Get real. First of all, if the government were inclined to attack you, I wish you the best of luck in holding off the 82nd Airborne or SEAL Team Six. Secondly, we have an effective weapon against our government the colonists did not: the ballot box.

    “If we limit access to guns, only criminals will have guns.” This is a totally senseless and silly argument. Should we eliminate speeding laws because there are some people who insist on speeding? Should we forget laws against terrorism just because two brothers in Boston decided to break them? Of course there will be people who break gun laws. The whole point of having a law is to give us a way to deal with the violators. Besides, we do not propose anything that denies gun access to law-abiding citizens.

    “Guns don’t kill people; people do.” This argument sounds good, but it completely ignores the efficiency and lethality of modern firearms. There was a recent incident in which a young man stabbed a large number of people. None died. Contrast that to what happened to the children at Newtown.

    We urge Congress and/or our state legislators to take the following steps:

    There should be universal background checks through licensed gun dealers. Violators should lose their gun rights.

    Every gun owner should undergo training in the safe use and storage of their weapons. We ask that much of drivers, why not for owners of weapons that are designed to kill?

    Redefine the types of weapons approved for private ownership and use. No sportsman truly needs a clip with 30 rounds. And let’s not get hung up over such trivia as the design of the grip.

    The time for action is long past. We cannot prevent every possible outrage, but to do nothing in the face of slaughter of innocent victims is inexcusable and to our enduring shame as Americans.

    Peter Anthony, Joan Carrigan, Louis Coates, Jeanne Daniele, Ed Paquin, Anita Ristau, Arthur Ristau, Bernadette Rose, Leslie Walz, Tommy Walz


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