People with guns kill people

People with guns kill people

After every tragedy involv- ing an antisocial or mentally unstable murderer who uses a gun to kill or maim innocent victims, the all-powerful gun lobby responds with the inaccurate mantra, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” The truth is, as in almost every one of our many mass killings, people with guns kill people.

Our perverse interpretation of the Second Amendment that embodies the belief that anyone should have unfettered access to owning any type of weapon available is absurd to the extreme. At the time the second amendment was passed, the state-of-the-art weaponry consisted of a single-shot, muzzle-loading rifle. It is inconceivable that those who penned the Second Amendment could have envisioned today’s rapid-fire assault rifles with high-capacity magazines capable of shooting “dum-dum” bullets designed to flatten and expand on impact resulting in maximum damage to the human body, all of which were used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings. To believe that the Second Amendment’s authors would have approved universal access to these types of weapons is to believe those authors were insane.

That we allow gun shows to peddle the most lethal assault rifles, assault pistols, high-capacity magazines and ammunition to anyone without either background check or waiting period exhibits an astonishing lack of even a rudimentary level of common sense. Private ownership of these kinds of weapons has no place in a civilized society. To protect the public, training, testing and licensing are required to legally drive a car, while owning a devastatingly lethal firearm that has only one purpose, to kill, requires only cash in hand.

The gun lobby’s response to suggestions that the sale of assault rifles and high-capacity clips be banned is that criminals will still find ways to get them. While that may be true, criminals are not the people who have perpetrated the mass killings of innocents that have sadly become all too common in our country.

By our years of capitulation to the gun lobby’s zeal to protect the rights of gun owners, we have inadvertently denied the most basic of human rights, life, to 20 precious, beautiful, innocent children, any of whom could have been our own, as well as six equally precious, innocent adults. In order to mitigate our collective responsibility for time and time again failing to confront the gun lobby on the issue gun control, it is now time to contact President Obama, Sens. Portman and Brown and Congressman Ryan and demand rational legislation that would outlaw private ownership of assault rifles and pistols, high-capacity magazines and the abominable “dum-dum” and cop-killer bullets, while protecting the legitimate rights of sportsmen and collectors.

Robert F. Mollic, Liberty