LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Misstatements run amok in gun control debate

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Fools and sheep dogs that is, and being a sheepdog, I just can’t walk away with facts that are being stretched or misinterpreted.

In this politically correct charged area after the Parkland, Florida shooting, even a sheep dog risks being skewered for stepping up and questioning the comments of an activist high school student. When so many want to tout the maturity of young people, I agree with them and because I agree with them, I must take the recent comments of Mr. Zach Trabaudo as worthy of discussion. (“Stricter gun laws would keep America safe,” March 8) People carrying adult opinions are subject to the opinion of others. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to their own facts.

The first trigger I got was from the source material Mr. Trabaudo used. His figures were based on Vox News, whose mission statement declares that instead of reporting news, they will “interpret the news”. (That should scare most of you when a news source claims you aren’t intelligent enough to understand what you’re hearing.) Most of their “interpretations take a dynamically left-leaning slant. Even the figures that were used in the letter actually came from a challenged article written by the New York Times that had used figures taken from all shootings such as gang wars, murder-suicides, and even police confrontations.

As I’ve said many times, people who know little to nothing about firearms are suddenly casting them into a mainstream commentary. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains the words “shall not be infringed”.

I don’t need Vox to interpret the meaning of those individual words. The founders realized and even commented in several places that the republic they had formed might find its most dangerous foe in those who’d use the government against their citizenry. The first 10 amendments were the lynch pin of the document and the founders intended them to be sacrosanct.

I’m always hearing that the founders had no idea about modern weapons but I’m being told that by First Amendment adherents using cell phones, iPads, and the internet. Do those people intend to go back to quill pens and slate boards?

Unless Mr. Trabaudo is 18, he has no first-hand knowledge of the process of buying a gun in Delaware. Though he will soon have that ability as well as the right to vote, he’ll still have to wait another three years before he can purchase cigarettes, alcohol, or a pistol. His argument against “fighting fire with fire” is ludicrous as there are few other options available to deal with such situations.

An airman on Dover AFB is entrusted with a fully automatic M-4 at work, but when he or she returns home to a trailer out along the marshes, they would be considered felons for having a means to protect their spouses and small children. Old enough to vote, old enough to die protecting our country, a felon for wanting to enjoy their constitutional rights.

His comment on a “a weapon of such caliber” struck me as odd. The AR-15 shoots a .223 (5.56 mm) round. Only the common .22 rimfire and the .17 caliber have smaller rounds. The firearms that could have been used would certainly have been more devastating. The 12-gauge shotgun with 00 buckshot is one of the most destructive hand-held firearms out there.

Regardless of what some Columbia professor might tell you, I would like for someone to look at me with a straight face and tell me that a mass murderer doesn’t have some mental issues. It is beyond the realm of reason that a sane person could, on a lark, go into a venue with unprotected children and callously murder them.

Finally was his use of Japan and Australia as examples where guns are totally restricted must be challenged. Japan is a very poor choice since the country completely disarmed after World War II. The Japanese culture is phenomenally different from ours in every sense of the word. Criminal elements still have guns, but ordinary Japanese citizens are left defenseless. We never hear about isolated incidents because Japan is a virtually closed society.

Australia cannot be statistically significant in any comparison since Australia has never had any historical involvement in guns. It was established as a penal colony in the late 18th century with what remains today as only small, isolated perimeters of civilization. The confiscation and destruction of guns had no effect on criminals as they refused to comply anyway. Crimes there are static or increasing according to whose figures would be used but not of which bear enough statistical proof to form an opinion.

Perhaps we should restrict cell phones and drivers licenses to 21-year-olds as well since hundreds more young people are injured and killed each year because of texting and driving or distracted driving. In a free nation, some of our choices can be dangerous.

Still, I find a common ground with this young contributor. I, too, worry about our schools and the students’ safety. I pass several of them each and every day and wonder just what actions they’ve instituted to protect against a madman. Bright young men (like Mr. Trabaudo) and women shouldn’t have to jump at loud noises or think about where they should take shelter.

Banning a particular firearm because it looks “dangerous”, is just the first step in banning all firearms. Millions of Americans own guns who have never threatened anyone any more that the cars they own. We must, both sides, work on curing the problem without directing our attentions to the symptoms. Perhaps enforcing the laws we already have would countermand much of the problems.

George Roof
Magnolia

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