Right to Bear Arms Didn't Cause Killings
In reply to queries by Gil Taylor (letter, April 29), regarding availability of fully automatic arms to the general public, there are no easily available automatic arms for use by the general public.
Not a single gun shop in the state offers them for sale, and civilian automatic arms are no longer manufactured.
None of the attacks of which Taylor speaks was carried out with fully automatic weapons. However, any weapon, be it a semi-automatic pistol rifle or shotgun, which fires one shot at each pull of the trigger, is deadly in the hands of a deranged person.
No one is more angered by horrific killings of helpless people than legitimate and rational gun owners. We continue to press, along with the NRA, for more strenuous and strict enforcement of existing gun laws.
We live in a highly dangerous and delinquent society. The criminal element will always have guns. Police cannot possibly stop every attack on a law-abiding citizen.
That is why there are so many guns in the hands of civilians, mostly good people (and increasingly among women), who have armed themselves in response to this threat. In many cases, armed citizens have saved themselves and others from injury or death at the hands of brigands.
Do we believe we should have the right to bear arms in our own defense? Yes. Do we believe our right to bear arms has caused all these killings? No. Thirty-eight states have concealed carry rights for their citizens. In every one of them, the crime rate has decreased.
I would never say every wheelchair occupant should carry a .45, but a security guard might be a good idea. One may not like guns, but if ever you need one, nothing else will do.
Roch T. Bell
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