Questions aversion to tighter gun control
To the Editor:
I would like to thank my state senator, Clark Chapin, and his associates for the letter they sent clearing up their lack of response to the recent gun safety survey in The News-Times (sister paper to The Spectrum).
I foolishly believed they didn't respond out of cowardice. I believed they thought if they showed an inclination to enact meaningful gun control laws, they would lose their precious "A" rating with the National Rifle Association and support from its members at election time.
Conversely, if they indicated an unwillingness to buck the NRA and pass laws to protect the general population, they would lose support of the average voter.
Now, thanks to their letter, I know I was wrong.
They're just confused.
Three months after the tragedy in Sandy Hook, 14 years after Columbine High school, and other mass killings like Aurora, Colo.; Oak Creek, Wisc.; Tucson, Ariz., and here in Manchester at a beer distribution warehouse in 2010, these poor elected officials don't have the necessary facts to make a "responsible nor reasonable" decision.
Perhaps I can help them.
First, I would recommend a ban on all assault weapons. These guns serve only one purpose and that is to kill people.
They are not used for hunting, nor are they used for sport -- they are used to end lives.
It goes without saying the large capacity clips should also be banned. If someone needs 30 shots to kill an unarmed deer, I suggest another pastime.
I see where the town of Newtown is going to spend $400,000 to place police in some, but not all, of their schools. Wouldn't it be better to ban assault rifles and use this money to buy back the guns that are already out there?
After one year from the ban becoming law, the buyback would end and any assault weapons found after that would be confiscated and the owners fined.
Now I know that someone in your group will bring up the cherished Second Amendment and everyone's knees will buckle, but fear not, all is well.
That pesky amendment allows you screw up your courage and do the right thing.
The first four words say it all. "A well regulated Militia," being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Weapons in this country are already regulated. You can't buy a rocket launcher and a six-pack of rocket propelled grenades. Try as you might, you can't buy an Abrams tank off a used car lot and, no, the Navy won't sell you a mothballed battleship.
A militia refers to a trained and organized group of citizens who can be called up for military action to protect the "State."
The Second Amendment never mentions personal or property protection; it mentions only the "security of the state."
The "well regulated" part stands for itself.
I have heard many people try to infer the Founding Fathers' intent into the Constitution and the Second Amendment, but based on the intelligence and foresight of these men, I believe that, if their intent was other than what was written, they would have stated those intentions.
As for universal background checks, gun registration, and a ban on possession of body armor, these are all no-brainers. I would also add mandatory insurance, that all guns have serial numbers and that they are tracked just like cars.
The gun owners would be responsible to see that all their gun sales are legal and recorded, just like car sales. Owners would also be responsible to immediately report all lost and/or stolen guns.
I hope my suggestions help these elected officials make the tough choices and help keep us safe, but I'm not optimistic.
A recent Washington Post survey showed people supported universal background checks by 91 percent.
So much for courage in politics.