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News Opinion Readers Respond

Do the right thing on gun control

I am a retired physician. During my first two years in practice I was an emergency room physician and saw some horrific injuries. Because of those experiences I want to see real solutions to the gun madness

We know that Australia's 17-year-old assault weapons ban has helped prevent further massacres, that you don't need a weapon of war to protect yourself or your family — handguns or shotguns work just as well — and that Second Amendment rights are not imperiled. Denial of these facts is irrational.

Our moral principle should be to do no harm. Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed reforms will not harm anyone's ability to protect their family or to hunt, nor will they infringe on anyone's Second Amendment rights.

But "do no harm" does not mean do nothing. Another moral principle is to do the right thing. Intervening to prevent loss of life is the right thing to do. To do nothing in that situation would be immoral.

If opponents of gun control block reforms this year, and next year we have another Newtown shooting, they will know, deep inside, that they are cowards who did not have the courage to do the right thing. And that is something that will be on their consciences for the rest of their lives.

Robert L Seward, Forest Grove, Ore.

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