LETTER: Gun control needs reasonTo the Telegram: I think the 2nd Amendment represents a rational need for Americans to provide for self-defense by owning private weapons. But the 2nd Amendment, like every other, can be altered to reflect contemporary realities. So, effective changes justifiably involve public safety issues.
To the Telegram:
I think the 2nd Amendment represents a rational need for Americans to provide for self-defense by owning private weapons. But the 2nd Amendment, like every other, can be altered to reflect contemporary realities. So, effective changes justifiably involve public safety issues.
I also agree undercover school marshals might provide effective deterrents to armed invaders. But, I don’t think most teachers want, or should, be required to double as armed security guards in potentially lethal confrontations.
Gun advocates correctly point out that, weapons like the AR-15 are not “assault” weapons since they do not possess fully automatic features. Unlike assault weapons, semi-automatics fire only one round for each pull of the trigger, while assault weapons fire multiple rounds as long as the trigger is being pulled. But “semi-automatics” like the ones used in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., are increasingly used by mass shooters, and when accompanied with large capacity ammo clips (one used in Aurora fired up to 100 rounds without reloading) this represents a recipe for disaster.
Semi-automatics can fire up to 50 rounds per minute when used by an experienced shooter. Isn’t that enough to do much more damage to a crowd of victims than a bolt action type of weapon could? Accordingly, we should limit the capacity of ammo clips to 10 rounds, as proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and we should carefully apply universal, thorough background checks for any purchases of semi-automatics — not just the ineffective checks provided by 1994 gun control legislation.
The NRA and gun manufacturers themselves actually created the misnomer, “assault weapons,” when referring to popular semi-automatics. Gun manufacturers created this term, and built weapons closely resembling military assault weapons in order to boost sales and provide a more “bad-boy” image for their products.
Think about it.
Those favoring stronger regulations or “gun grabbers” as they have been called cannot control the physical appearances of weapons. The gun industry alone can make semi-automatics look like assault weapons. Those opposing supposed “assault weapons” like the AR-15 are merely using the inaccurate terminology already designated by gun manufacturers.
Assault weapons like machine guns have been carefully regulated for almost 80 years, but let’s not allow one inaccurate term to prevent us from placing effective restrictions on weapons which, with alarming frequency, are chosen by mass shooters. This issue has become a matter of public safety and certainly should also involve carefully restricting semi-automatics.
Peter W. Johnson,