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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Focus on safety

January 1, 2013

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To the editor:

Thanks to David Reber for illustrating the parallels between misuse of guns and abuse of alcohol in this country (Public Forum, Dec. 22). He performs a service by pointing out another one of our blind spots. But having shown us the parallels, Reber lapses into histrionics, which serve no purpose but distraction. To quote Mr. Reber: “Tell the parents of 5,000 booze-killed kids how your selfish need for convenient drinking trumps their kids’ lives. Then wipe the blood off your bottles and shut up about my guns.”

If this were a moral contest, maybe Mr. Reber would win. We drinkers are arguably just as selfish as gun owners, maybe more so. But this is not a moral contest, or at least it shouldn‘t be. We should be talking about how to make our country safer for ourselves and our children. And if safety is truly our goal, political expediency must trump moralistic finger-pointing.

For the first time in years, we may just have the political will to ban the sale of assault weapons — without loopholes. This is no small deal. Banning the sale of assault weapons would make it harder for unstable people to get access to them, hence could save lives. I have not heard a single reason why a ban would be harmful. Our focus on guns, as opposed to alcohol, may seem unfair to responsible gun owners like Mr. Reber. But throwing this chance away, just to honor a distorted sense of fairness, would be truly unfortunate if not immoral.

Comments

Abdu Omar 1 year, 7 months ago

Tell you what Mr. Briand, I will agree to ban assult weapons if you agree to stop drinking. As a matter of fact, ban all guns if the nation stops drinking. Alcohol kills many more children than guns. By your own statistics. We need to stop the sale of assult weapons and of powerful liquor at the same time. But Jim Beam, Smirnoff and Bicardi are strong influences. So we are in a predictament.

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KSManimal 1 year, 7 months ago

Scrolling through the JW headlines today, we find the following:

"Former Kansas inmate who killed three in DUI accident arrested for drunk driving"

"DUI charge filed in accident in which KU student lost his legs; driver had previous DUI"

"Group seeks broader liquor sales"

Now....I wonder what the third headline would have been if the first two were repeated firearm crimes rather than alcohol crimes? Not that I really have to wonder.

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Charles L Bloss Jr 1 year, 7 months ago

I support owning a rifle with a large magazine capacity for protection of my life, and my family's. Many law abiding citizens own these firearms for self defense, and they are not "assault weapons". An assault weapon is fully automatic, or has a select lever between semi-automatic and fully automatic, such as is issued to our military. I am a law abiding citizen, the good guy with a gun. How would I do with a rifle with a 10 round capacity against a criminal with a 30 or 40 round capacity. I would lose. Criminals will always have weapons. There are 20,000 firearms laws in this country, many are not enforced. The recent mass murderer broke many of them, as did his deceased mother. Now you have heard from someone who does not support additional laws on rifles with large capacity magazines. We should aim our efforts on improving mental heath, improving background checks, and think about other areas where we can do something substantial to keep firearms away from the mentally ill. Banning firearms from law abiding citizens, and/or limiting magazine capacity to ten rounds will not help anything. Law abiding citizens already obey the law, criminals do not. That is why creating additional laws will only affect law abiding citizens, not the criminals who are misusing these weapons.

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Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

"For the first time in years, we may just have the political will to ban the sale of assault weapons"

I doubt you could buy an assault weapon and if you think The House is going to vote to further restrict firearms ownership, you are wrong. Nevermind the center-right SCOTUS that has shown itself pro-gun in striking down restrictive gun laws.

Don't get your hopes up. The constitution is in your way and you can't go around.

Another thing you gun grabbers might keep in mind, the more you push to take away a right cherished by conservatives, the harder they will push to stop abortion and gay marriage. Do you want to escalate that war?

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Charles L Bloss Jr 1 year, 7 months ago

Good point, they love those issues.

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