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Gun Control

Dear Editor,

The right to bear arms is protected by our Constitution, the highest law in the land.

The Second amendment says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Does the right to bear arms extend to citizen ownership of military assault weapons designed to effectively and efficiently kill people or to devices designed to accelerate the rate of fire of semi-automatic weapons or to untraceable and undetectable 3D plastic guns? There is no good reason for a citizen to own these weapons. These are not necessary for personal protection of life or property and not designed for sporting use.

There seems to be an obsession for firearms ownership in this country which is fueled and protected by those with financial interest to gain. Reasonable limits on the kinds of firearms and efforts to keep firearms out of the hands of persons likely to be a danger to society have been consistently opposed.

Gun control legislation has been passed beginning with the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, which placed limitations on selling firearms, requiring persons selling firearms to obtain a Federal Firearms License and to maintain records of persons buying firearms. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was enacted for the purpose of “keeping firearms out of the hands of those not legally entitled to possess them because of age, criminal background or incompetence.” The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 prohibited the sale, manufacture or possession of certain types of military style assault weapons for a 10-year period. That law expired in 2004 and Congress refused to extend it.

Current gun control legislation has not worked well enough to secure public safety. Limits on the ownership of military style weapons have been blocked and serious loopholes exist in background checking.

In most states it is possible to buy a gun without proof of identity, but every state requires some proof of identity to vote. The “gun show loophole,” for example, refers to the fact that federal law requires background checks on guns sold by federally licensed dealers only. Anyone else selling guns is not required to do background checks.

Misinformation and slogans opposing gun control abound. “The government is going to take away your guns.” “When you ban guns, only the criminals will have them.” “Guns don’t kill, people do.”

The best gun control legislation will not eliminate the mass killings we are having in recent years. It can prevent some, but that should not be the primary reason for gun control laws.

It is common sense that for public safety we need to control the sale of military style weapons and also have the necessary restrictions on who can purchase firearms. We need this while protecting the right of gun ownership for personal protection and sporting use.

Marie Bundy

Barnesville

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