No compelling reason to own an assault rifle

I feel compelled to respond to Christian Wilson's letter ("Quick-fix legislation won't solve our gun violence problem," Dec. 31). The author really made a compelling case for gun laws, the opposite of what he intended. He is correct that laws cannot keep everyone from doing violence. That is why dangerous weapons like assault rifles should not be readily available. Does anyone think that Adam Lanza would attack an elementary school with a hammer? If he did, there would probably be no one dead there.

Mr. Wilson does not seem to know that we are a nation of laws. Although making a law does not mean everyone will obey, a lot of people will. Has not Mr. Wilson seen the low murder rates in places where all guns are outlawed, such as Great Britain and Japan? Gun laws do seem to work quite well in those countries.

I understand why someone owns a hunting rifle. And although I disagree with owning a handgun, I do see why someone may own one thinking that they can protect themselves. However, I can see no reason for an assault rifle. What do you do with them? Hang them on the wall so you can show your friends what a cool toy you have? Occasionally take one to a shooting range? In that case, let's keep them locked up at the shooting range. It seems to me that one of the main reasons for having an assault rifle is that they can be left unlocked around the house for someone of questionable mental health to murder people.

Barry Burns, Towson

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