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Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Don't be so quick to jump on the gun 'ban' wagon

One of the most popular topics for legislators today is restricting gun ownership in some form or fashion ("Guns: Old issue, new hurdles," Feb. 10). They have labeled some firearms as "assault" weapons and likened them to those used by the military.

I spent 23 years in the U. S. Marine Corps, and I have never heard the term assault weapon used there. The fact is, the word "assault" is not an adjective.

Second, only people who don't understand firearms believe that a gun purchased from a local firearms dealer has the same capability as those used by our military or police.

To put it in context, consider a car purchased from a local auto dealer. You can buy a car with a spoiler, magnesium wheels, dual exhausts and racing stripes that resemble those on a race car. But such a car can't hold its own against the true competition cars that circle the track on Sunday afternoon.

The battle cry of lawmakers seems to be protecting children. But law-abiding gun owners were as horrified as everyone else by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The problem is that advocates of banning guns only seem to be concerned about children who lose their lives to gun violence. Do they think a parent grieves any less when a child is killed by a drunk driver?

There has been a lot of legislation to try to curb drunk driving, but never once has it been suggested that there should be a ban on cars. There has never been an organization called Mothers Against Cars.

In fact, the people who fight for stronger drunk-driving legislation understand that it is not the car that is to blame. It is the fault of the person who chose to break the law by getting behind the wheel while impaired.

If you commit a crime with a gun, it's likely you'll never again be able to legally own a firearm. However, if you are found guilty of drunk driving, you may have your driver's license suspended for a period of time, but eventually you'll be able to keep your license.

Bear in mind that operating a car is a privilege, not a right. There are no constitutional amendments guaranteeing the right to car ownership. There are societies that live every day of their lives without automobiles, such as the Amish. They do, however, own firearms.

We live in a civilized society, but there are uncivilized people living among us. The fact is, evil people always have and always will do evil deeds. The vast majority of gun owners never commit a crime with their firearms, and they take safety very seriously in handling them. I honestly can't say the same about how car owners operate their vehicles.

Is it only gun owners who must make sacrifices in the name of protecting our children? Shouldn't all Americans be asked to do the same? Would you be willing to give up your car? After all, in the words of President Obama, "if it will save the life of one child, we must try."

Kerry Nelson, Lexington Park

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