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Gun control isn’t the answer

Published: Sun, February 3, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Gun control isn’t the answer

The Vindicator headline after the senseless murder of many children in a school of Newtown, Conn., asked “Why?” Banning guns and their extended clips will not answer that question.

Having spent most of my adult life in an area where guns were involved, I feel more qualified than the average politician to comment on the issue. I have been shot at and threatened by three other people pointing a gun at me, one a teamster goon with a military rifle. Sure I remember the type of gun used at the time of the incident. I was more concerned with the person pointing the gun than what type of gun.

A U.S. Senator being interviewed on television said military weapons were designed to kill. Were not all guns designed to kill? Banning certain weapons is not the answer. The Gun Genie has been out of the bottle for many, many years. There are many ways to get whatever weapon one desires.

Would anyone believe for a second that a person planning mass murder cares in the least the weapon they intended to use was banned? A saying I heard years ago which was attributed to a West Side gang member should explain what the criminal element of our society thinks of gun laws in particular. The gang member basically said it is better to get caught by the police with a gun than to be found by your enemies without a gun.

The reason the question “Why?” may never be answered is that out of hundreds of million people in this country, only a handful have done such murders. That is not to say we should stop looking for “why,” but let us do so reasonably.

Donald G. Baker, Liberty

The writer is a former Youngstown police chief.

Doing nothing means more will die

The cry of the Jews after the Nazi slaughter during World War II was “never again.” That same cry is now heard within the borders of our own nation. It’s the cry of the anguished families of the slaughtered innocent children of Newtown, Conn. That cry will not be silenced, not this time. It cannot and must not be.

The reported recent increase in NRA memberships, the mad rush to purchase semi-automatic weapons and huge backlog of orders for large capacity magazines and ammunition are feeding the fears of an already anxious nation. Given recent history, those fears are not without sound foundation.

Ironically, both sides of the gun issue are driven by fear. Gun rights advocates are driven by fear of what their government may do. Gun control advocates are driven by fear that what those with guns have already done may be repeated. The fears of the latter, at this point, are far more justified.

In a perfect world, gun rights could be absolute as gun rights advocates believe they should be. But, again, in a perfect world, guns wouldn’t be necessary for personal protection in the first place. How many tragic examples do we need to drive home the message that we don’t live in a perfect world where gun rights can safely be absolute?

Gun rights activists argue that laws banning assault weapons and limiting the capacity of magazines won’t make the situation any better. Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. One fact, though, is indisputable. What we’re doing now is absolutely not working. Can we really afford to wait for another elementary school to be littered with the bodies of innocent children? Never again.

Mike Halchuck, Canfield

Mooney: move south to North Lima

Why would Mooney even consider spending eighteen million dollars on remodeling their old school or even building a new building for $25 million in that area?

I would have thought that Mooney would have considered purchasing the old South Range High School building in North Lima. It is:

1. A recently remodeled high school.

2. Has a pretty nice football stadium.

3. Is in an area that Mooney mentioned as their desired area.

The money saved could help some kids go to Mooney who want that Catholic education but cannot afford it. I guess that this would have made too much sense.

Marian Beil, North Lima


1peacelover(805 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

In the first seven weeks after Newtown, there have been more than 1,280 gunshot homicides and accidental deaths. 1,280! We can't afford to sit back and do nothing. How did our country get so gun crazy?

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2Photoman(1065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

New York, California and Illinois--three states with the toughest gun control laws and yet look at their crime rates involving murder by gun. These crimes are not committed by the legally armed citizen but it is the legally armed citizen our government wishes to penalize for the sins of others. When government becomes successful in whatever method they choose to disarm law abiding citizens we shall be at the mercy of both government and criminal guns and there will no longer be anyone to protect our property, our rights or our lives.

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3DSquared(1488 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Why is Dept of Homeland Security stockpiling BILLIONS of rounds of hollow-point ammunitions? Remember in 2008 when MAObama announced his wishes to organize a National Homeland Security Force? The Patriot act enables the declaration of Martial law and the suspension of the Constitution. You just might want one of those AR-15s when that happens!

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4DwightK(1370 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Baker is framing his argument incorrectly. No one proposing banning guns. What is being proposed is universal background checks, better mental health information available for the checks and banning certain types of weapons and high capacity magazines. If every proposal were written into law each one of us capable of passing the background check could still go out and purchase a weapon to defend ourselves.

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5DSquared(1488 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Elementary and secondary school security should be handled at the local grass-roots level. Not by Washington Bureaucrats surrounded my MASSIVE amounts of security forces for their own protection!

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6HappyBob(285 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Well said DwightK !

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7HappyBob(285 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

I think that what Dwight is referring to as the "universal" background check proposals, is in reality, an attempt to make background checks required as universally as possible. Realistically however, true universality will not be achieved.

But notion that true universal application cannot be achieved is not a good reason to fail not attempt to close obvious and reasonably accessable loopholes in the current law.

I challenge the notion that background checks would only be for law abiding citizens. Data from state agencies clearly demonstrate that criminals do apply for firearms purchases and are prevented from purchase at licensed dealers.

So when the criminal cannot purchase from a FFL, they go to alternate sources. Their next easy access is from a unlicensed seller at gun shows, gun bashs, flea markets, and online. The proposal for 'universal' background checks would seek to close that avenue.

Will the determined criminal still be able to get a firearm, inspite of "universal" background check? Of course they can, but it has now become more difficult.

Isn't that a worthy objective, make it more difficult for the criminals to get firearms?

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