LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘People control’ needed, not gun control

I understand the polarization of the gun ownership issue and sitting hard right, I’m sure my comments will be disdained and detested by the other side. Still, it’s not in my DNA to ignore ignorant remarks or when politicians who, if not difficient of facts, are simply bent on destroying the U.S Constitution.

Here in Delaware, the comments made on gun control by Chris Coons and Joe Biden, aside from making themselves look foolish, are nothing but pandering to the media and the hard anti-gun crowd. Anyone interested in some hard facts, I’m going to give them.

The NRA is not some inane secretive group like “Occupy Democrats”. The NRA is comprised of 5 million, dues-paying members who stand up for the nearly 80-plus million gun owners in America. These are people who have, for years been encouraged to “compromise” on the rights granted to all citizens under the Constitution while seeing those rights only taken with nothing in return. These are people you meet in your everyday life on multiple fronts. Though statistically flawed, you might say that there is an NRA member or gun owner in every three people you meet. These are all law-abiding, tax-paying citizens who feel that the 10 Amendments that explicitly spell out individual rights of “The People” can only be protected and preserved by the Second Amendment. It’s unfathomable to me how the purveyors of the First Amendment openly attack the adherents of the Second when, if the Second is removed, the next logical step would be to remove the First.

I can’t overstate my disgust at politicians who call for “sensible gun laws”. Are they not the ones who make our laws? To what degree are they not capable of understanding that currently there are tens of thousands of gun laws on the books. The National Firearms Act of 1934 heavily restricted who may own an automatic weapon (machine gun for those who aren’t familiar with gun terminology). In 1986, the Firearm Owners Protection Act added short-barreled shotguns and rifles to the mix. In 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act instigated an NRA-encouraged method of checks on gun purchases. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was implemented.

In order for anyone to buy a firearm, all Federal Firearm Licensed dealers (FFL) were required to keep and maintain meticulous documentation that included affidavits provided by the buyer at the time of purchase. This information, along with verified and validated identification, must to be sent through the FBI before a purchase is allowed. At that time, any discrepancy on the form was a violation of federal law and the sale was never transacted. The individual could, and was, prosecuted for having perjured themselves.

There is not now, nor ever has been a “gun show loophole.” Any gun show that includes the sale or gifting of firearms must, under penalty of federal law, complete the same processes that would be required outside the show. This is simply a catch phrase the people like Sen. Coons uses to promote his ignorance.

There are no “assault rifles” sold in America. At least none that differ from assault knives, assault hatchets, assault pressure cookers or assault fertilizer trucks. Much like the term “Saturday Night Special” was embraced by the antigun culture of earlier generations, it’s a farce cast upon the unknowing. The “AR” in AR-15 simply denotes the manufacturer just like BAR denotes John Browning’s contribution. AR stands for “Armalite Rifle.” For some reason it’s been painted as a “scary” gun because it has a pistol grip and a barrel sleeve. (Hopefully my pressure washer nozzle doesn’t get thrown into that comparison).

The rifle is NOT an M-16 or A-4 used by the military and some police officers. It is a semi-automatic (meaning that only one round is fired when the trigger is pulled). One of the most feared of assault guns, the WWI “trench gun” was simply a pump shotgun whose exact copy is used by military and police today as well ad by many of our duck hunters. Aside from its physical characteristics, the AR-15 no different from any other semi-automatic shotgun, rifle or pistol.

The arguments for gun control are mind boggling to me and should be very confusing to most of you. Proponents want “ALL semiautomatic firearms” removed from civilian ownership (they didn’t say pistols and hunting rifles for obvious reasons). They want you to believe such firepower only belongs in the hands of the military or police while mounting evidence in this last attack is demonstrably proving that police, though afforded over two dozen chances, refused to act and actually stood outside while the carnage took place.

They want the legal age to buy firearms to be changed to 21. Do you intend on requiring our military to refrain from inducting 18-year-olds and having them die for our freedom while not allowing them to purchase guns?

You say the students of this school prove that 16-year-olds are intelligent enough to vote, but they aren’t old enough to buy cigarettes, liquor, or guns. How do you justify that in your minds? The media decries the “gun culture” but continually saturates us with the images of the killer, which, by all accounts, simply encourages copycat killers to up the score on the next incident. We place “gun free zone’ placards as greeting cards to every demented individual. Every mass shooting has followed those invites. The killer in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting actually passed eight other theaters until he found one with that onerous sign out front. These people rest easier knowing that law-abiding citizens will properly honor the signage and be unarmed.

As the grieving father of a murdered student ripped into Chris Wallace on Fox, the media seems driven to push for gun control rather than address the real issue of school security. This argument isn’t about gun control, it’s about people control. When the Broward County Sheriff stands up repeatedly and blames the NRA while his officers stood outside, it should have a sobering effect on anyone who would willingly relinquish their right to self-protection to paid professionals who may or may not come to your rescue in time.

George Roof

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