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The Lake News Online
  • Lake view: Assault weapon ownership not a civil liberty

  • No one is attempting to take away the right of any law-abiding citizen to have hand guns in their homes for self protection. No one is suggesting that folks cannot own rifles, shotguns or handguns for sport or hunting.
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  • I attempted to call Ms. Jane Boyce last week to congratulate her on a letter she wrote to the paper regarding Morgan County politics (in which I agreed with her opinion wholeheartedly....a first). I could not obtain her telephone number and unfortunately we never spoke. Now I find myself in complete opposition to the local Tea Party darling once again over her latest letter concerning gun rights.
    No one is attempting to take away the right of any law-abiding citizen to have hand guns in their homes for self protection. No one is suggesting that folks cannot own rifles, shotguns or handguns for sport or hunting. There has been no mention of repealing any law abiding citizen's right to carry a concealed weapon with a proper concealed carry license. What is being suggested and proposed is that military type assault weapons, extended ammunition magazines / clips and military ammunition be banned in the hands of private citizens.
    You and your supporters often hold up our forefather's and the second amendment as your banner in any discussion regarding inevitable assault weapons bans. The problem is that those arguments do not hold up once you examine the facts. I doubt very much today's NRA would have supported the gun regulations and laws in place when the forefathers were alive. There were broad bans on possession of firearms in the hands of folks thought to be untrustworthy by the local authorities. "A well regulated militia" as stated in the second amendment resulted in regulatory laws requiring that militias appear at musters where the government would inspect their weapons, inventory their weapons, record their stockpiles and inspect the storage facilities of every militia's firearms / ammunition.
    In 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the second amendment to the constitution did guarantee the right of law-abiding, responsible, adult citizens to have handguns in their homes for protection. However they qualified that ruling with this opinion, " Like most rights, the right secured by the second amendment is not unlimited." Most surprising was conservative Supreme Court Justice Scalia's opinion in which he stated, "The second amendment is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."
    If you need an assault weapon with a thirty round magazine in your home for self protection, I suggest you need target practice not more bullets. I have heard the arguments against banning these type of weapons over and over by those that believe the answer is simply more assault weapons in the hands of Americans. Several times I have been confronted with this argument, "You know... what is the difference if a criminal has a handgun with six shots or thirty shots?" I have also heard, "If the criminals didn't have guns they would just use a knife or a bat to kill people. What's the difference?" After getting over my initial shock of the ignorance of these statements, I always give my stock answer, "The difference is six shots compared to thirty shots and there is NO comparison to the killing power of assault weapons to knives or bats!"
    Page 2 of 2 - Jane, you, the Tea Party masquerading beneath the facade of the Conservative Club are simply wrong when it comes to gun control. The majority of Americans do not stand with you on this issue. Folks are tired of the slaughter being committed on their fellow countrymen, women and innocent children by folks armed with these types of weapons. I say you guys will either submit to the will of the majority of Americans or you will stand on another losing, indefensible position like so many others you choose to support.

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