Sunday July 29, 2012

The tragic mass shooting in Aurora predictably renewed the gun control debate. I would worry if it did not. However, making policy decisions in the heat of the moment is seldom a good idea. At such times, there’s plenty of heat and precious little light.

In October of 2001, following the attack on the World Trade Center, Congress whole-heartedly passed the USA Patriot Act. This collection of measures, while offering some measure of assurance and comfort following the instability caused by the attack, was perhaps the most invasive and restrictive legislation since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

Let’s not make the same mistake again. If the merits of the argument for tightened gun control can be upheld when emotions are not heightened and can withstand the light of reason, so be it. Until then, let’s hope our legislators refrain from the temptation to rashly limit our liberties and proceed with all due caution.

ROBERT DOUGLAS

Pittsfield


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