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Since I am not a gun enthusiast, my opinions on the subject of guns are personal. Studies have shown that the number of homicides in a country is in proportion to the number of guns it has. The United States has the dubious honor of being fourth in the world in the number of gun-related deaths per year (9,369), only behind such distinguished company as South Africa (31,918), Colombia (21,898) and Thailand (20,032).
Conversely, all other advanced, industrialized countries fare enviably better, such as Germany (269), Canada (144), Japan (94) and England (14).
Hunting is a passion for some. They enjoy trekking through the woods with their rifles, legally licensed to shoot at birds and animals. The same applies to pistols and those wanting to be prepared to ward off a home invasion. These rights are guaranteed by the Second Amendment and therefore legal.
But what in the world is the need for military-style assault weapons with huge repetitive rounds with the mere flick of a finger? If it takes that much firepower to kill a deer or quail, that hunter is a danger even to himself.
The AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle is a converted version of the military’s fully automatic weapon. It utilizes high-capacity magazines with clips holding as much as a hundred rounds, which could be fired off in a minute without reloading.
One does not need an assault weapon to shoot a deer or protect one’s family. No one should own an assault rifle except our soldiers in the military and the law enforcement officers who protect us. In 1994, Congress passed a 10-year ban on assault weapons and President Bill Clinton signed it. Unfortunately, it was allowed to expire.
During his 2008 campaign, now-President Barack Obama promised to reinstate the ban, and Mitt Romney signed an assault weapons ban as governor of Massachusetts. It is time to reinstate the ban, though it is not that easy.
One hurdle, of course, is the omnipresent National Rifle Association. They are as much of a danger to the safety of our citizens as are the assault rifles themselves. They will do whatever is necessary to defeat such a common sense ban. They will distort, lobby and spend as much as is necessary as they always have.
Their paranoia that the government is going to steal their weapons is idiotic but has rubbed off on a large portion of our citizenry, who believe it. Let us hope facts will conquer fears.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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