U.S. needs a talk about gun controlPublished 9:57am Friday, December 14, 2012
I know this letter will probably confirm me as being a commie-pinko (a badge I wear proudly since my Dad bestowed that name on me many moons ago), but I have to ask: When are we finally going to have a serious discussion about guns. I have never believed in the so-called right to bear arms as has been pursued relentlessly by the NRA? I understand the culture of hunting wildlife, but I grew up in Los Angeles where holidays were “celebrated” in crowded neighborhoods by shooting off guns into the air and the culture of “hunting” human life.
I had a brother-in-law who once taunted me with what I call a six-shooter (sorry about my ignorance). Visiting my sister one day three decades ago he pulled out this gun from under his chair and offered it to me, knowing my fear of guns. When I demurred he said that I needn’t worry: “There were no bullets in the gun.” I continued to demur as he emptied the bullets from the gun while he laughed at my wimpiness.
We have seen too many shootings and accidents over the last week, let alone the last many years, that I believe it’s time we started talking about the proliferation of handguns, assault guns and multi-bullet clips whose only purpose is to injure and kill as many people as possible in the least time as possible. We only need to look at Oregon, Aurora and Virginia Tech to name just a few. The NRA keeps telling us that we can’t have any restrictions on guns or bullets because of the Second Amendment. I don’t think the founders had envisioned the types of weapons that were built for war, not for hunting or protecting one’s home.
But I think responsible hunters know full well that these weapons are not useful in hunting, and it is you who I ask to start the conversation. We need better registration laws to prevent criminals and mentally unbalanced persons from getting guns, a ban on assault weapons and their concomitant multi-bullet clips, requirement that gun shows register the guns they sell and other sensible guns laws that a civil society should live by. None of these requests will stop all illegal gun sales but if we can start the conversation maybe we can stop many of these senseless killings.