I own guns, have served in the military and have hunted. That said, I ask: How many times have we heard the leadership of the NRA say, “Background checks won’t solve the problem of mass shootings,” or, “a ban on assault weapons won’t work,” or, “outlawing high-capacity magazines won’t make any difference — the shooters will just reload more often”? I would ask those who espouse this viewpoint:
Pictures yourself in a theater, or at the mall, or in a PTA meeting, when a crazed individual stands up and starts shooting. (Let’s assume you are not the marksman with the concealed-carry permit and the laser-equipped automatic who thinks he can drill the body-armored madman from 75 feet, in spite of incoming fire.) Wouldn’t you, for a second, wish a background check had denied him the right to purchase a weapon? Wouldn’t you be happier, as you dive for the floor, to note that he couldn’t get his hands on an AR-15 and had come instead with a revolver? Or suppose he does have a semiautomatic rifle. Wouldn’t you be relieved that he’s not using a 30- or 50-round clip and before he gets around to you, his 10-round magazine is expended and he’s gang-tackled while he fumbles to reload another?
Only the stupidest, most inept killers would be stopped by measures like those above, you say? Fine. At least, let’s start by stopping them.
No one action, popular or not, will stop deranged people from attempting wholesale slaughter. There is no perfect solution. But that realization can’t be a reason to do nothing. Just because a problem is hard isn’t an excuse not to try.
There were about 32,000 gun-related deaths in this country last year. What if the above kinds of measures eliminated only one in a hundred? Is it useful to employ such measures? Is it valuable to make the effort? To 320 families it is. And if one of those 320 is yours? Priceless.
GORDON R. KELLY
RutlandMORE IN Letters
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