Informed not armed
Ever since President Obama announced executive actions to curb gun violence, the NRA noise machine and its political/media lackeys have gone into high gear.
Charles Cooke of the National Review claimed the initiatives do nothing, while Rush Limbaugh said the guns of law-abiding citizens will be taken away. Meanwhile, Laura Ingraham and Fox News railed that Obama's actions are unconstitutional.
Before one falsehood can be disposed of, five more have risen in their place, and the noise machine drones on, drowning out civil discourse in the public square.
An informed public remains the best defense against tyranny (not guns), and until such time as media access can be confined to those who tell the truth, we need to remind ourselves, “Caveat Lector” (let the reader beware).
Gun training essential
Regarding the Nicholas Kristof column “Inconvenient gun facts for liberals” (N&O Jan. 24): The intangible factor in our gun debate is the culture of vigilantism that widespread gun ownership fosters.
Sloganeering about good guys with guns encourages gun-toting residents to step unwisely into conflicts. Yahoos openly carrying rifles while claiming to defend freedom instead create fear and anger.
The fact is too many ordinary gun owners are careless. One study found 600 accidental shooting deaths happened in 2010. The Centers for Disease Control found that from 2007 to 2011, an annual average of 62 children were accidentally shot and killed. Ohhshoot.blogspot.com posts a running account of shooting accidents from the amusing to the tragic.
Reasonable people on both sides can agree that gun ownership demands training, safety and responsibility. While the NRA endorses safety and training, its push for greater gun ownership outstrips its support of adequate training.
Adequate training entails more than just learning how to fire a gun. It includes psychological preparation to understand the limits and consequences of using a weapon.
If guns are here to stay, then requiring that gun owners be adequately trained is merely protecting our right to live in safety and prohibiting the misuse of the Second Amendment.
Life-saving gun action
A few years ago my life was nearly shattered by gun violence when an attempted robbery in a hotel parking lot resulted in my husband being shot with a shotgun. The attacker had been convicted of violent crimes and yet was able to legally purchase a firearm because background checks are not required for shotguns.
I fully support our president’s executive action to reduce gun violence. It seems that there is a misconception regarding what this will mean for the average gun owner.
As long as someone is a law-abiding citizen, the executive action will not affect the ability to obtain a gun. It may increase the amount of time it takes to get a gun, but this is a rather small price to pay for public safety.
Restricting the access of criminals to dangerous weapons is not an attack on our right to own a gun. It is a sensible way to start to deal with our country’s epidemic of gun violence.
Will this executive action prevent all gun violence? Certainly no one is arguing that it will, but for those people who do not lose a spouse, child or parent to gun violence, it will make all the difference.
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