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Letter to the Editor: Arguments on gun control go out of control

Staff Reports • Updated May 9, 2018 at 2:00 PM

To the Editor:

You’ve heard the justification to bear arms by Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” or “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” 

Both statements are methods to avoid the issue of semi-automatic-automatic weapons’ controls as is Phil Valentine’s opinion piece in The Lebanon Democrat’s April 26 edition, requesting people to report individuals who are a danger to themselves or others. This is a truism but does not address the problem involved.

Despite all the arguments to allegedly support the Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, I find little evidence of a concerted effort to restrict a citizen’s right to bear arms. I do, however, find efforts to distort the issue of reasonable gun control, including disparaging victims of the slaughter at Parkland in Florida.

Basically, the “March for our Lives” movement is proposing the banning of military assault weapons, banning of bump stocks, expanded background checks, including private sales, raising the age to purchase of guns, banning high-capacity magazines and banning the sale of guns to people with certain mental health issues. 

This is a nonpartisan issue as was evidenced in the Brady Act in the ’90s, which was allowed to expire due to pressure from the NRA. To put it simply, this is common sense. I fail to see how an armed citizen with a pistol can oppose someone with a military assault weapon in most situations. As a practical matter, this is insane.

As far as the mental health issue, anyone who kills someone is unstable, but if they are isolated, there may be no signs of being a “danger to themselves or others.” People snap, Mr. Valentine, with little previous evidence of a prior mental health condition.

For your information, I am a former member of the NRA and have fired a M-16, a Thompson, a German MP-40 and a Sten gun and all but the M-16 while in college. A pistol against these types of weapons is a joke. We must have real solutions to the carnage we see in these mass shootings. 

I am not naïve enough to believe this will stop all shootings. Banning military assault weapons and automatic weapons should reduce the sheer number of deaths due to these weapons. As far as killings, other than these mass shootings, we need to do a lot of soul searching and address this issue separately.

Frank C. Newbell

Lebanon

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