I have read many letters berating Diane Rudolph over her letter to the editor regarding gun control. Many complained about a lack of solid points in her letter. OK, let’s talk about those points.
First, a note to Austin Abercrombie: Adam Lanza took a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and two handguns, a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol and a Glock 10mm into the school with him. When he started shooting, the Bushmaster was his weapon of choice. The police found a shotgun in his trunk. Lanza did, indeed, use an assault rifle to shoot those children.
Much is made of the move afoot to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. The NRA and the gun lobby are fighting this tooth and nail just like they do any other type of gun law. Although I agree with the ban on assault weapons for civilian use, there are other laws that may be even more important to change.
For example, there is a gun lobby-sponsored law, on the books since 1979, that makes it illegal for law enforcement to upgrade the technology to identify and track the owners of guns used in crimes. The NRA has made certain that law enforcement is forbidden from inspecting firearms dealers to make sure they follow the law when they sell lethal weapons.
And then there is the gun-show loophole. Dealers at gun shows are not required to run background checks on people who buy guns. Gun supporters will be quick to say that most of the people who buy guns at those shows intend to use them legally. For the most part, I am sure this is true; however, other customers of these shows include drug dealers and other felons, lunatics and would-be insurrectionists. Since there is no check on anyone, these people can buy all the guns they want with no worries.
The NRA will fight any attempt to register and track weapons yet they see no problem with creating an enemies list of their own. The NRA list of enemies includes law enforcement agencies, medical organizations, educators and even entire churches. Isn’t it odd that an organization like the NRA, which hates lists, was so quick to make its own?
Finally, Ms. Rudolph’s main point was a valid one. There are small but radical groups that entertain fantasies about launching an armed insurrection. The blogs aren’t that hard to find. A couple of years ago, the blog for the National Association of Rural Land Owners featured a video advocating the armed overthrow of the United States and an additional video that featured a series of fully automatic weapons cutting loose at a firing range. The weapons included an M60 machine gun, a 20mm minigun that fires 1,200 rounds per minute and a 105mm howitzer, all of these illegal to own under current law. The video ended with the words, “Southern white conservatives may be a minority, but they are a well armed one.”
Gun advocates are quick to cry that their rights will be violated if their gun options are limited or if they have to register their weapons, but they are perfectly willing to trample other’s rights in the process. They are happy to deny a 5-year-old the right to go to school without fear. One writer to this paper even compared the schools to prisons, suggesting that some inmates earn degrees in prison so third-graders should be able to learn under similar conditions.
They are perfectly happy to deny people the right to attend a theater in safety. Their solution is to arm as many theater-goers as possible. What a solution! Let’s catch people in the crossfire in the dark.
There have always been limits to any of the rights we enjoy. I say that the right of children to go to school in safety outweighs the perceived right of anyone to own a collection of super-lethal guns they don’t need. Guns should be registered and everyone who purchases one should be subject to a background check. A truly law-abiding citizen should have nothing to worry about.