Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

January 23, 2013

Resist ineffective, hysteria-driven legislation

In response to recent “common-sense” anti-gun commentaries.

There is a substantial difference between military-grade and military-style “assault” rifles — these terms cannot be used interchangeably.

A modern, military-grade assault rifle (M-16) must be capable of fully automatic rapid fire, whereas the military-style rifles (AR-15) owned by civilians are not capable of this essential machine gun-like functionality, and therefore only resemble their military counterparts.

Should we ban the Mustang GT or Camaro Z28 simply because they resemble race cars, because everyone intuitively knows that race cars are really fast and dangerous? No, because common-sense dictates otherwise.

“Assault” is a scary word. Sadly, terrorists have successfully used commercial passenger airliners as military “assault” aircraft (9/11), however we do not think of airliners in this way. Likewise to classify a civilian military-style rifle as an assault weapon denotes that it is only capable of that one singular purpose: assault, and of it’s own accord.

To the contrary, this class of firearms are rugged, best-of-breed performers across the full spectrum of shooting sports, hunting, home defense and other lawful endeavors (if you wonder why anyone would want or need “one of those things”). Consequently to label them as “assault” rifles is inaccurate, inflammatory, and agenda-specific.

It is true that some countries with strict anti-gun laws, like the United Kingdom, have significantly lower firearm-involved homicide rates. Duh! That’s an easy spin. However, it is only a single category statistic, and the same source also indicates the rates of assault and rape in the U.K. are more than double that of the US.

Worth repeating: rape, assault, more than doubled! Criminals have a much easier time of it when you, their victim, have been systematically denied the means to effectively defend yourself.

This lower level of personal safety is accompanied by a statistically lower perception of police effectiveness in the U.K. compared to the U.S. Single source: http://www.nationmaster.com/compare/United-Kingdom/United-States/Crime

Gun laws and restrictions only affect law-abiding citizens. This may sound cliché, but it remains fact, and therefore cannot be dismissed. Criminals will always have street access to weapons of every type.

I have the utmost respect for law enforcement at all levels, but it is evident that despite massive effort, we are unable to stem the flow of contraband — drugs, guns, sex slaves, etc. — across our borders.

Consequently, the crazy people who commit the atrocities will continue undaunted, while millions of law-abiding gun owners (and you) are progressively stripped of their liberties by ineffective, hysteria-driven legislation.

Should we ban cars and airliners because of abuse by a small group of individuals? Of course not, that would not be reasonable. Likewise, do not punish millions of law-abiding gun owners based on the acts of a few.

If the news reports indicating guns in almost 50 percent of American households are even half true, then chances are good that you have friends, neighbors and associates who own a gun.

Other parents from your child’s school. People from your church. People YOU know. If so, are you afraid of them and their guns? I hope not. They are not your enemy. They are not evil. Please stop treating them like they are.

The liberties they fight to protect are also yours, whether you want them or not. What are these liberties worth? If the U.K./England had practiced stricter gun control some 300 years ago, we’d still be subjects of The Crown!

Silvester Schultz

Cumberland

 

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