Gun control

Dear editor:

A person goes to a gun show and, without a background check, buys multiple AR-15 assault rifles, multiple semi-automatic handguns, multiple large capacity magazines, and a large quantity of ammunition. To the NRA this is a “law abiding gun owner,” because presently all these things are legal. Maybe they shouldn’t be.

The NRA promotes the paranoia that the government wants all our guns and cites the “slippery slope” and “camel’s nose under the tent,” theories. If you let its nose in the tent, eventually you get the whole camel. Yet, when Tommy guns were banned during Prohibition, the government did not come to take away all guns, and there is still no evidence to justify this paranoia.

The NRA opposes any restrictions whatsoever, no matter how necessary and reasonable. On January 30, the NRA’s LaPierre testified that he is opposed to closing the gun-show loophole and that background checks are ineffective. Years ago the NRA opposed any restrictions on plastic handguns and armor piercing ammunition. Of course the only purpose of plastic handguns is for hijackers to evade airport security. The only purpose of armor piercing ammunition is to penetrate police bulletproof vests. The NRA put the rights of hijackers and criminals ahead of common sense and public safety. Citizens can still have guns for hunting and self-protection. Ultimately, the US Supreme Court decides what the limits of our Second Amendment rights are, not the NRA or gun owners.

The NRA does some good things, like its gun safety courses and defense of hunter’s rights, but it also accepts millions from the gun industry to fight against any restrictions on gun sales. The 4 million NRA members are being used as pawns to protect the profits of the gun industry.

Many civilized modern democracies around the world have gun laws much tougher than ours. Their citizens accept this as necessary and reasonable. They voted for it. They don’t have a paranoid fear of their governments.

Of course there are other factors in our high level of gun violence, such as violent videogames and movies, and mental health issues. These must be dealt with also, but the easy availability of the most dangerous guns and magazines to all kinds of people must be restricted. If we don’t do something the killing will go on.

Herman Grishaver