Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

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

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Life-saving law Life-saving law

    Not many pieces of legislation to come out of Annapolis can be described as a matter of life or death. But the CPR law signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley is just that.
    Known as Brenna’s Law, the legislation requires that all Maryland high schoolers will be required to complete CPR training as part of the graduation requirement.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cat sanctuary could use help with veterinarian bill

    Dawn’s Cat Sanctuary, Fort Ashby, W.Va., recently rescued 11 cats and one kitten from a home in Keyser, W.Va.

    April 24, 2014

  • Street flowers Street flowers

    Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • President and Obamacare: Who needs Congress?

    Being a fellow from a small town like Cumberland I don’t always really understand what’s going on in Washington. But I have watched a few houses being built over the years. I even helped some with one house, but my brother fired me from that work pretty quickly, mainly because it was his house being built.

    April 22, 2014

  • Sweet Success Business Forum this evening in Frostburg

    As a member of the Frostburg Business and Professional Association (FBPA), I am pleased to inform the community of the “Sweet Success” event sponsored by the city of Frostburg and our organization.

    April 22, 2014

  • First base First base

    The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • You can help United Way reach its goal

    The United Way of Allegany County campaign for 2013-14 will end April 30 and to date has raised more than $430,000, which is over 86 percent of its goal. But there is still $70,000 to be raised in a very short time.

    April 21, 2014

  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo