The Garden City Telegram
1/3/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Your Views

Time to address assault weapons

Our Second Amendment reads: A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The National Rifle Association, many politicians and most Americans, feel this means any type of gun may be sold over the counter. In 1791, armor-piercing bullets, multi-shot AK-47s or a hand-held stinger rocket that can bring down an airplane, were not even dreamed of. During the past 230 years, our world has become extremely violent. Television, movies and Internet games are so explosive that people have become callous — insensitive, almost cruel.

Hospitals for addicts and mental patients to receive medicine and counseling were closed due to budget shortages. These ex-patients are now living among us, where high-powered guns might be obtained. Military equipment belongs where supervised training is available, to limit its use in our democracy. Hundred-bullet clips are not allowed on a hunting field in Kansas, and should not be legal in an Aurora theater or a Connecticut school room.

Do we remember who was the elite model for our 2012 election? President Ronald Reagan. When he and three others were shot by John Hinckley, Jr., in 1981, a gun bill was passed.

Manufacturing weaponry is a mega-million dollar industry. Our elected officials seem to have allowed NRA lobbyists to influence their decision making, instead of Mr. Reagan. Schools and shopping venues around this country have become target ranges. Soldiers are dying in two wars. And we are despised worldwide for providing weapons to extremists in other countries. I don't think this is the American life envisioned by founders of the U.S. Constitution.

If criminals use ballistic-resistant armor to commit a felony, their prison sentence will be enhanced by the court. But no one can be punished for selling him the gun or for buying the stolen property. Yes, a citizen who has property stolen in a burglary, itemized on a police report, must buy it back from a pawn shop or metal recycler.

Voters must tell their legislators to debate assault weapons, as hard as the abortion issue. America should be enforcing human rights for our citizens, before condemning Iraq or China. Maybe Congressional approval levels might rise above 17 percent.

JANETTE HAVERKAMP,

Garden City