2013-02-07 / Letters to the Editor

‘Straighten out story on gun control’

Let’s straighten out the story on gun control. Nowhere have I, nor the President, nor any of my friends ever stated we were against private ownership of guns. In fact I do not know who is calling for total disarmament of all citizens. This is an idea perpetrated by those zealots who use it to oppose any type of gun control. Only people like Ed Fischer and Scott Mires (relating to their letters in last week’s Resorter) accuse me of this.

The big problem is that many people don’t stop to think about the difference between gun ownership and gun control. I never have and never will say we should take away the right of gun ownership. All I ask that those who would own guns use a bit of responsibility of ownership – which includes pledging themselves and others to responsibility of control.

This includes choosing the necessary weapon to own – and I can see no place in the current climate of the United States, to own, store and use a multi (over six rounds) firing weapon. Certainly a six shot is more than adequate for any situation, except for cases of someone else attacking with a “weapon of mass destruction”.

We do have many adequate laws regulating the use of concealed weapons – normally single to six shooters. These laws are usually upheld and violators are subject to fines if and when they are found and/or prosecuted. What we do not have is a way of regulating the sale, owning, transporting or use of “fast firing multiple ammunition loads.”

The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads, among the rights of the American people; A well regulated militia, being necessary to a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. The Supreme Court has ruled that the type of weapon which the act did not allow for is “use of ‘sawed off shotguns’” but allows only those weapons “in common use for lawful purposes.”

No matter what sort of controls we do have in place, there are always those who will be able to purchase what are classed as “weapons of mass destruction,” particularly at gun shows, where background checks are often disregarded. The only way to control this is to make it illegal to manufacture, sell, distribute, own, or use such weapons with the exception of licensed gun collectors who may not buy or own ammunition for these guns. Interesting to look at – fatal if used.

So please, if you wish to join this discussion, let’s do it in an informed way, which starts by distinguishing “gun ownership” from “gun control”. The NRA doesn’t seem to get it right – and it’s no wonder only a minority of their members agree with them. They mix up the terms to suit their own agenda. Our state and federal legislators should stop accepting donations from gun manufacturers and the NRA and look instead at what is best for the people of our country.

Beverly A. Luther

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Do you think pressure from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students on legislators will have an effect on gun control?