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Gun safety--not seizure--is the goal

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Date published: 2/17/2013

Recent letters to the editor about the gun safety issue were apparently written by people who have fallen for the multi-billion-dollar gun industry's propaganda and fear-mongering. They refer to bureaucrats wanting to leave people without guns for protection, and "liberal Democrats" wanting to "gut the Constitution." In fact, gun-safety advocates have not suggested seizing guns from people, and do not want to change the U.S. Constitution or its Second Amendment in any way.

Instead, advocates have made common-sense proposals such as closing loopholes in background checks so that criminals, terrorists, and those with certain types of mental illness will not be able to legally purchase a gun.

They propose maintaining comprehensive gun registration so that stolen weapons can be traced. They seek to ban the manufacture and sale of semi-automatic assault weapons, with fewer exceptions and better enforcement than the previous ban so that such weapons will eventually become rarer and less available, like the machine guns that mobsters used years ago. They also seek a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips so that an attacker is forced to stop shooting and reload.

Statistics show that people who have successfully used a weapon to defend themselves did so with a simple handgun or rifle, and a reasonably sized ammunition clip. Statistics also show that gun owners and their families are less likely to be protected by their guns than to be harmed by accidents, attempted suicide, and confrontations exacerbated by the presence of a weapon.

Injuries rise when innocent bystanders are caught in the crossfire. Responsible gun owners, knowing this to be true, secure their weapons and use them with great care. It is hoped they also support sensible gun-safety efforts to prevent atrocities committed with semi-automatic assault weapons and/or high-capacity ammunition clips.

Sharon Allen

Locust Grove