Sandy Hook shooter was enabled by many
One opinion in your Dec. 18 edition put the blame for the horrific killings in Newtown fully on the shooter and him stealing the guns.
It did not mention that he was enabled by the people who did not restrict his access to guns and trained him in their use. The store that sold the guns to the mother of the killer, the shooting ranges where the mother trained her son in shooting, the town of Newtown having a gun culture, the gun owner/collector mother not locking up her guns, all enabled the killer to do this terrible crime and are also responsible for it.
I read that half the U.S. population owns guns. It should be noted then that half of the victims probably had family [members] with guns that were obtained to protect their families, but were unable to protect in this case.
Note also that the mother had guns not only for fun but also for her own protection, but was killed by her own son with her own guns.
Want to control guns? Change Constitution
In the interest of clarity concerning the Second Amendment to the Constitution, I submit its text in its entirety: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
I understand the emotional response to the events at Sandy Hook, and condemn such acts of violence. However, I believe that the call for additional gun control is an act of violence to our Constitution and rule of law. In my opinion, it is clear that any infringement on gun ownership is unconstitutional.
There is a proper and lawful solution to this, a constitutional amendment to change or nullify the Second Amendment. Any other method of gun control, seeking a pragmatic or emotional solution, is outside the framework of our Constitution and is inherently flawed and illegal if we pledge to uphold the Constitution.
Treat guns like cars, and strictly regulate
Cars kill. More children die in car accidents than by any other means. But cars are not against the law, nor is there a Second Amendment to guarantee right of ownership.
However, over the years laws have been enacted to address safety. [To drive] you need a learner’s permit, road and written tests, eye exam. Yearly inspections are required to keep your vehicle in safe working order. Brakes are checked, tires. Manufacturers include air bags, anti-lock brakes, traction control.
You are required to purchase insurance, so if you cause an accident and people are hurt, medical costs are covered. All these things imply how dangerous owning a car is and impose a responsibility on the owner to mitigate this danger.
So it should be with guns. When the Second Amendment was written, assault weapons and high-capacity magazines were not imagined. But we are now faced with their reality. Tanks are a vehicle, but would we allow them on our streets? Nor should we allow over-the-top weapons and ammunition.
And as far as making schools, malls, theaters safer, that’s like requiring all of us to wear impact-proof suits whenever we go out of the house into a car or for a walk so as to protect us from being hit by a car. No, we did the reverse. We put the burden on the car.
What needs to be done is to ban high-capacity weapons and require 100 percent background checks (currently, 40 percent of guns sold do not go through checks due to loopholes).
Will this stop every occurrence of gun violence? No, it will not, but I reason that occurrences and causalities will be greatly reduced.
If you want to approach 100 percent fatalities reduction, all guns would have to be outlawed, as you would outlaw all cars if you were not willing to risk some casualties. That is not acceptable, so we have to accept that life carries these risks and do the best we can.
Responsible gun owners vs. rogues
The recent events which occurred at Newtown, Conn., have resulted in a reaction on the part of our leaders in government to this admittedly heinous crime. However, in my opinion, these proposed initial efforts can only be classified as knee-jerk reactions that are, to say the least, trivial and trite.
For example, the president is in the process of forming a committee to study the effects of gun violence. To what end? I am certain that in the wake of each shooting, a myriad of committees have been formed to study this problem. Does the new committee really expect to shed any new light on this program?
Another example is the proposed revival of the bans on “assault-type” rifles, high-capacity magazines, and [the] sale of certain types of ammunition. This is nothing more than old wine in new bottles.
Enacting such bans will come to nothing, because the individuals who require such items to accomplish their nefarious goals will always be able to obtain them. No matter how many bans are enacted or committees formed, it has not stopped the killing.
The reports of stabbing incidents are on the rise. If one cannot obtain a firearm to do violence, it would seem that an edged weapon would serve the purpose just as well. Can we then expect the formation of a committee on knife control as well?
I suggest that our leaders must look to the real root of the problem, and that is the climate of violence that permeates this country. Somewhere, somehow, we as individuals have lost touch with our civility, our humanity, and the notion that every person has value. As a society, we have devolved to the level that any insult, whether perceived or real, can only be met with anger and violence.
I am a responsible gun owner. In the light of recent events, I do not wish to be pilloried by the media or rendered impotent by the clouds of new gun control legislation sure to be enacted. I, and the vast majority of gun owners like me, deplore the shootings at Newtown but we have committed no crime and should not be punished as a result of the criminal actions of one rogue individual.
Michael G. Decker
Farley’s attitude should come as no surprise
[State Sen.] Hugh Farley’s behavior in regard to the city of Schenectady and our city school district should come as no surprise to anyone [Dec. 14 Gazette].
In 36 years, what has Sen. Farley done for us? I challenge anyone to list five major accomplishments that have benefitted the city of Schenectady. It would seem that the longest-tenured state senator could and should do much more for our city.
The real shame, however, does not lie with Sen. Farley, but rather the voters of Schenectady for allowing this to continue.
The old saying should now read: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, but fool me 18 times shame on all of us.
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