We need some controls on guns

By Steve Estes

The 28 dead two weeks ago from a homicidal crazy at a school only continues to point to some real changes that need to be in the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms.

The national news is filled these days of stories with lunatics, and that is the nicest word we can print, who for some perceived wrong walk into a school, a mall, a gathering and open fire with high-capacity weapons.

The favorite seems to be the AR-15, a rifle that uses the same caliber shell that is used to hunt small game, but is capable of carrying 100 rounds. If the owner of that weapon is so poor a shot as to need 100 shells to fell a defenseless animal, they probably shouldn’t own the gun anyway.

Most gun owners pride themselves on their ability to shoot straight. Using that logic, it should take one shell to fell a defenseless animal, so why the need for a 30- or 100-shell high-capacity magazine?

The only need is to provide suppressing fire or beat back an angry mob.

The gun lobby would have us believe that individuals need high-capacity magazines to protect themselves from government tyranny in the future. No matter how well equipped the individual might be, if the US military decides to drop them in their tracks, a sniper from 1,000 yards, a drone from 1,000 miles, or a jet fighter from 10,000 feet would be quite adequate to do the job.

So taking up arms against the best-equipped military in the world is just a non-existent reason to own a gun with high-capacity capabilities.

The 10-shell magazine, the five-shell magazine, the six-shell revolver, are all enough to stop a burglar in his tracks, or pop a bullet through the street thug. And our Constitution guarantees each of us the right to own and carry a firearm.

If personal protection from crime is the stated purpose for owning a gun, a 100-shell capacity assault rifle is way more than overkill.

Yet we have laws that allow citizens to legally buy enough firepower to wipe out a small town at a whim.

The gun lobby has to know that there is no logical reason for a private individual to own a firearm with the capacity to dispense 100 shells without reloading. And our elected leadership knows this as well.

Yet we do nothing, and more innocent people die at the hands of lunatics who have bought the gun lobby line.

We are allowed to drive, yet we aren’t allowed to drive tanks in public. We are allowed to fly a private plane. But we can’t own a combat-equipped jet fighter. We are allowed to own a boat and use it at our leisure, but we can’t buy a combat-ready destroyer and ply the local waters with it without some intervention by law enforcement.

So why can we carry around a high-powered rifle that is capable of killing 100 innocent people unless our intent is to kill 100 innocent people?

It’s time for our elected leadership to take the necessary step to ban assault weapons, including hand guns with high-capacity magazines.

We don’t advocate taking anyone’s gun away. We all have that right, and if one feels better with a loaded handgun in the purse, or under the jacket, then we stand resolutely behind that right.

But we are tired of watching innocent children be gunned down by lunatics who can prepare for mass murder simply by running down to the local bait shop, or pawn shop, or gun show, or gun shop, and pick up all the tools necessary to commit mass murder…and have no questions asked.

Yep. We hear the arguments that if we take away guns, only criminals will have guns. We didn’t say anywhere to take away guns. We simply advocate banning high-capacity magazines and multi-shot assault weapons.

During the recent school shooting, if the gunman had been banned from legally purchasing high-capacity weaponry, the death toll may have been considerably smaller.

And neither do we buy the argument that if someone else had a gun, the shooter wouldn’t have gotten that far. Reflex being what it is, gun-toting vigilantes would have dived for cover first, then opened fire from cover. The damage was already done.

Let’s get high-capacity weaponry off the streets however we must. And when we find criminals with high-capacity weaponry, we can treat them like criminals without waiting to see if that arsenal in the basement is for self defense, or mass murder.

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