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Letter: Don’t blame the gun

As a father, grandfather, uncle, brother and son I have many reasons to care deeply about the senseless violence and carnage that seems to be increasing in our country. I do, however, firmly believe in our Constitution and what it stands for.

Recently some have written that anyone who enjoys any shooting sport is potentially “delusional”; I think our Olympic athletes who compete in this highly competitive sport might have a thing or two to say about that! I know numerous others of both genders who shoot for recreation and competitively and represent a wide range of ages and occupations. Their only offense apparently is enjoying a shooting sport.

The carnage of gun violence can be gruesome indeed. But motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers who are distracted or under the influence are no less gruesome or senseless. You may think restricting the sale of firearms that look or operate in a particular way will prevent tragedies and save lives. If that logic works, then we had better restrict the sale of cell phones that are text capable and take photos, restrict the sale of cars that are capable of speeds exceeding 65 mph. Perhaps that would curb the tens of thousands of highway fatalities each year.

I share the sadness and anger many of us feel, especially in light of the tragedy in Sandy Hook. But an intelligent, thoughtful and meaningful solution should be sought. Stop cutting budgets that provide services those who desperately need help. Blaming a gun or a car for the actions of a person is not the answer.

MIKE PAYEUR

Pembroke

Legacy Comments12

The casualty in the careless superficial approach to this public policy polemic is SELF RESPONSIBILITY. Civil liberties come at a cost - civility. But there are generous dividends. The bar is raised on civility. The problem with the strategy of conducting the search for the guilty based on tactics of the punishment of the innocent is twofold: 1. It is unconstitutional, unlawful, unethical and immoral. 2. It is pragmatically bankrupt (it will not - cannot - be effective in decreasing the crime)

Gun rights absolutists are often among the most intelligent humans -- William S. Burroughs, for example: “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military. (Grand Street, no. 37 & The War Universe (1992)). The dishonesty in Burroughs’s argument is that gun control ain’t gun prohibition. Permitting unregulated possession of single-action long guns will assure access to the only kind of firearm actually effective in self-defense. The dishonesty in the argument that gun control does not work is the failure to recognize its indisputable effectiveness in Great Britain.

"Permitting unregulated possession of single-action long guns will assure access to the only kind of firearm actually effective in self-defense." HUH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Both handguns and semi-automatic firearms are reasonably classified as “product[s that are] defective as designed [because] the magnitude of the danger outweighs the utility of the product.” Vautour v. Body Masters Sports Indus., Inc., 147 N.H. 150, 154 (2001)). Handguns are not sufficiently accurate unless used by a real pro, so they present an inordinate risk of being used for suicide, domestic violence or against persons trying to defend themselves. Their ease of concealment creates an inherent risk due to concealment by wrongdoers. Semi-automatic firearms serve no utility whatsoever other than maximization of casualties, of which there is no need in self-defense. Long guns on the other hand, particularly shotguns, are inherently effective for self-defense and their proliferation would be a net positive.

All of that is in your opinion. There is a real fear by progressives of the populace, the people, the citizenry being armed. It runs deeper than desire to confiscate a weapon that "might" do harm. 99% of gun owners are responsible. When you restrict and take away guns based on 'emotions' you not only restrict the rights of people, violate the Constitution and are bullying, you are doing so based on personal 'feelings', not facts.

So I'm to believe that you - "Common Grind" is actually calling for "more guns?" (albiet shotguns)

Dan- Not necessarily calling for more guns, just saying that if people want guns they should be able to own single-action long guns (with a background check). Then we would have gun self-control -- or gun-control, only in the sense that we would have a much better chance that we would see and be forewarned of those who are armed, and that those keeping and bearing arms would do it more safely and effectively.

Veritas. Let's use an evidence based approach. If gun control had ever worked - we would NOT be having this conversation. There is much we can do but trying to criminalize lawful gun owners or repeating a concept that has never worked - is insane. As in Einstein's definition of insanity is "doing the same thing and expecting different results. As to the administration dictatorial proclamation that they will enact gun control w/o the congress - I thought we fought the revolution to get away from dictators? Honestly, I think they made this provocative move to distract from the country' financial mess.

"Gun control doesn't work" is one of those statements that is intended to simply stop the discussion. But we need to have a reasonable conversation about this issue. We could start by defining some reasonable goals and trying to meet them. We did that with tobacco use and drunk driving, and through reasonable efforts, both drunk driving and tobacco use are way down from 15 years ago. If we made a measurable goal of reducing gun violence by, say, 10% in 5 years, and then institute some legislative, regulatory and enforcement tools to facilitate this (maybe by increasing penalties for use of firearms in a crime and enforcing those penalties strictly, or instituting some reasonable restrictions on access to some weapons, or a combination of these or other measures), in 5 years we could look back and see if those efforts have been effective. If not, keep trying until we find something that is. But saying "it won't work" is not helpful. By that yardstick, we should simply eliminate all our criminal laws, because they clearly "don't work." We still have crime, after all.

99% of the gun owners in the United States are responsible. I suggest that you look at statistics and see how they are abused, however, in places like Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, East LA, New Orleans, ....... That is what you should be focused on but political correctness stands in your way. Every time someone abuses a gun, progressives see that as an open door to impose their attitude towards guns on the rest of the populace. Crime? Look to the urban areas......that is where most of the gun violence takes place....start there please. Those folks won't register their guns and you won't be able to trace them.

OK, so what's your suggestion for reducing gun violence? Is it based on facts backed up by research? Can you show a causative link between actions and results? I mean real cause-and-effect, not "this happened, then that happened" leaving the reader to infer causation. Do you have something to recommend?

A car is not designed specifically to kill, nor is a cell phone. They have other beneficial uses. And use of a car is restricted by state law so that drivers have some level of skill in its use, and familiarity with the laws that regulate operation on our highways. Can you say the same for guns? NO! And "believing in the constitution" has little meaning in this context. The Supreme Court has decided that the 2nd Amendment generally guarantees the right to possess guns, but does not prevent reasonable regulation. And nobody has a constitutional right to a 30-round magazine or a 100-round drum.

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