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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Courage lacking

April 20, 2013

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To the editor:

The late President of the United States John F. Kennedy wrote a book about courageous Americans who chose to take necessary action because it was the right thing to do rather than the politically expedient thing to do. There were few examples of courage in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. Maybe Sens. Kirk, Collins, McCain and Toomey would qualify.

Forty-six senators decided to take the politically expedient road and vote against expanding background checks to folks who want to purchase guns on the Internet or at gun shows. Forty-one of those senators were Republicans, including Sens. Roberts and Moran of Kansas. Five Democrats from NRA-controlled states voted against the measure for fear of losing their jobs and ignoring the pain and fear visited upon the victims of Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, Tucson and Virginia Tech. Their weak justification is that the legislation would not have prevented the Newtown shooting.

What is their solution to controlling gun violence? Should we arm the teachers, school officials, theater employees, etc., and have a real Wild West shootout? How many more innocent bystanders and kids would be killed if we adhere to this solution? My point is that these senators don’t really have a plan or excuse for voting against this legislation. Their plan is to get re-elected and hope no mentally ill folk buy a semi-automatic and a 100-round ammo clip and shoot up an elementary school or movie theater.  

Comments

redneck 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Here is my 2 cents. Yes, you can purchase a firearm off the Internet, but they will only ship it to somebody who has a Federal Firearms License. The person with the Federal Firearms License will run a background check on you, and you will pay them a small fee for their service. You can also purchase a firearm at a gun show without any kind of background check. This is allowed so gun owners can sell their weapons privately to other gun owners without having to go through a Federal Firearms License dealer. If a convicted felon purchases a firearm from another person privately, they are breaking a federal law and could go back to prison for doing so. Please tell me of one instance, where somebody committed one of these mass murders, and they purchased their weapons at a gun show or privately from another person. Name me just one instance. I don't believe there are any instances, but please let me know if I'm wrong. They either stole them or purchased them from a dealer who ran a background check on them, and they passed the background check. It's not the weapon that needs to be controlled; it's the loose nut behind the trigger who needs to be controlled. The nut job that is responsible for the Sandy Hook Elementary incident broke more than one law. He murdered his mother and stole her guns. What other silly law would have prevented him for doing what he did? It seams to me that he didn't care about any laws, or he wouldn't have broken them. Maybe we need to include mental records, when a background check is performed. The problem is that the bill that was presented to the US Senate contained all these other silly agendas, which are included to slowly eat away at our rights to own firearms. These agendas include limiting the magazine capacities or outlawing anything that could be considered an assault weapon. I have a 22-caliber rifle that may be included in an assault weapons ban, just because I can purchase a 50 round magazine for it. It's a peashooter for Christ sake! Lets end the madness and pass laws that make sense or stop letting criminals out of prison because of overcrowding or commit those who are a danger to our society.

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jayhaitch 11 months, 4 weeks ago

"The right to keep and bear arms." What would the definition of "arms" be when that was written? If you say that it changes with the times, then I want my nuclear missle and I don't want to have to pass some stinking background check to get it.

If it doesn't change with the times then all you're allowed to have is a musket-type of "arm."

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eugunieum 12 months ago

Ok to kill unborn babies, not ok to own nasty gun. I give up, going to beat my head against the wall again.

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Steven Gaudreau 12 months ago

Cait, democrats rejected the bill too.

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Cait McKnelly 12 months ago

Why is regulating guns "unconstitutional" and "violating the Second Amendment" when a 70 page omnibus anti-abortion law that violates at least three of those amendments (the First, Thirteenth and Fourteenth) perfectly hunky dory? I just don't understand the GOP mindset....

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Steven Gaudreau 12 months ago

Maybe the problem is with the bill iteslf. Here is a quote from one of the bill sponsors:

"These are ammunition, they're bullets, so the people who have those now, they're going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high-capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won't be any more available," Rep. Diana DeGette, Denver Post

With such an ignorant statment, one can assume the bill has some issues.

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jayhawklawrence 12 months ago

The point has been made here that increased gun ownership correlates with increased gun violence, therefore we have to look at this as a problem and implies that we need to correct this if the data turns out to be accurate.

This can only mean limiting the ability of the American people to purchase a gun which is their constitutional right. The direction of all anti-gun arguments are toward this type of conclusion. What they say is that they are interested in improving background checks and identifying and providing help for the mentally ill, but in fact their rhetoric is not limited to this.

Gun owners and gun haters are on two different planets right now, but if the gun issue continues in the way that it has, there will be a Republican in the White House after the next election. I will almost guarantee that.

We can make a case that increasing automobile usage in the United States led to increased fatalities, etc.

You can make the same case for power tools and industrial machinery. You can make that case for almost anything including baby cribs.

I believe we can improve gun safety and it is a very noble and good thing to do. However, this was never about that. This was about politics. The Democrats wanted an issue to rile up their constituents. They have succeeded.

What they have done is reveal a lack of respect for the fundamental freedoms of the American people and a willingness to cross a line that they should never have crossed.

This President does not have the political capital to make the kind of changes he is trying to make in this country. We have not yet implemented his national health care plan and it is worrying a lot of companies. He continues to browbeat Republicans from his soap box and the country has never been more divided. Obama is not about unity, he is about division.

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jafs 12 months ago

In addition to those adjudicated mentally ill and dangerous, felons are also not supposed to own guns.

It's the same argument as with voting - only citizens are supposed to vote, and not felons, etc. Laws which require people to prove they have the right are reasonable.

I find it odd that so many have differing views on the two topics - for me they're very much the same.

Also, if you want to believe that laws only exist to punish people after the fact, go ahead. I find that a very poor reason to have laws, since I'm much more interested in preventing crime than punishing criminals afterwards.

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donttreadonme 12 months ago

"Liberty2755 hours, 2 minutes ago

...All these people saying "will of the people" are wasting their breath because the people chose Republicans as the majority to represent them in our federal government."

Actually, more people (by a million) voted Democratic than Republican in the House races in 2012. It was only because of the gerrymandering of 2011 that the GOP retained the House majority. So the current House does not represent the "will of the people".

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gphawk89 12 months ago

I propose a different way to tackle this problem. Why don't we simply create a law that makes it illegal to murder (or attempt to murder) someone? Then we can all have as many guns as we want but the new law would prevent them being used to harm anyone. Oh... wait... we already have that. That one doesn't seem to work, either.

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jafs 12 months ago

Thanks Doug - we try :-)

I found some interesting data on private sales, etc. According to a link somebody posted, 40% of those polled had bought their guns without a background check, and 80% of guns used in crimes had been bought that way.

Seems as though the problem is rather large - I was surprised at the numbers.

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Ken Lassman 12 months ago

OK, folks, there have actually been a number of genuine discussions in this thread, especially between fred and jafs, clearly stating without too much emotion the gist of the disagreements. The NRA has provided boatloads of anecdotal information advocating for merely enforcing existing regulations and selling more guns as a way to curb gun violence, while the other side has provided boatloads of anecdotal information advocating for the need to tighten up the loopholes in background checks at least, restricting semi-automatic gun and large clip sales at most.

How is a person to decide? The typical way is to actually do some kind of objective research, providing unbiased facts for folks to mull over in their discussion. Back in the 90s, the CDC actually tried to do this, but when the data began to show that household guns actually increased the probability of gun violence, the NRA stepped in and put pressure on legislators to restrict any research in this area. Of course the legislators were only too eager to comply, and reasonable research in this area has been squelched, despite the fact that other major sources of accidental/violent death in the US receive millions of dollars annually to better get a handle on ways to reduce mortality.

Here's just one article for those interested in this historical suppression: http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/01/14/blackout-how-the-nra-suppressed-gun-violence-research/ there are many more.

I don't see how any reasonable argument either way can proceed past the current deadlock without more research, and I think our legislators should be held accountable for surppressing research to assist reasonable citizen discussion on this important health issue. In the meantime, since what research has been done indicates that gun ownership is correlated with gun violence, improved background checks is justifiable and should proceed.

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psycho_theclown 12 months ago

JFK certainly knew how to stare down fear; give him credit, any man who had that many affairs,certainly had guts. J. Edgar knew how to put fear in his pocket(book) too.

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jayhawklawrence 12 months ago

If they could pull it off, the far left would disarm the American people for the first time in history.

We would be completely dependent on the government to protect us.

...as we are becoming dependent on the government for everything else.

And they say gun owners are illogical.

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Steven Gaudreau 12 months ago

Explain to me how any law will stop a mentally ill person from getting a gun to commit murder when there is access to 300,000,00 guns in circulation. Is a sick person going to fill out papers, get rejected and say, oh well, I guess I won't kill people now?

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bearded_gnome 12 months ago

SouthWestKs 26 minutes ago

Patrick, Maybe the senators voted the way most of us Kansas's wanted them to vote. I believe that is why they are elected, to represent the majority of people. That is normally opposit of you all in Lawrence/Douglas County.

[ding!]

besides, the "background check" check legislation requirement legislation was deeply flawed, "we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it ... " type thinking. in it was the requirement that every transfer had to have a background check, even if a dad passed a gun to his son, yet that dad wouldn't be registered with the authorities as a firearms dealer, and there was no mechanism to plug him into the system to enable him to do that. would've effectively stopped those.

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SouthWestKs 12 months ago

Patrick, Maybe the senators voted the way most of us Kansas's wanted them to vote. I believe that is why they are elected, to represent the majority of people.
That is normally opposit of you all in Lawrence/Douglas County.

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Kate Rogge 12 months ago

Why aren't the conservative Kansas state and federal legislators firmly behind gun control and background checks? How is it different from requiring valid IDs before exercising our Constitutional right to vote to require rigorous background checks before exercising our Constitutional right to purchase and bear arms?

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infidel 12 months ago

Every gun I have purchased online or at a gun show has required a background check. I don't know of any one who has bought a anything online without one.

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Lynn731 12 months ago

I do as well. See my comment on the other letter about the NRA.

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Brock Masters 12 months ago

Seems to me that one man's politically expedient is another man's courage. I applaud our senators.

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