Friday January 11, 2013

Vincent Lee’s letter to the editor of Jan. 6 ("Don’t lose rights for a false security") is further evidence that common sense isn’t all that common in 2013. We are a nation full of selfish and dysfunctional people in desperate need of a moral compass.

Mr. Lee stated "while I absolutely denounce gun violence in the United States, I also denounce violence with knives, machetes, gasoline, baseball bats, hammers and all other tools/items used to assault others." Mr. Lee then asserts that "a ban on a specific firearm or group of firearms would be a feel good measure at most." Sadly, people like Mr. Lee and NRA leader Wayne LaPierre refuse to acknowledge the obvious in that there have been many mass murders by gun and absolutely none to my knowledge by knives, machetes, gasoline, baseball bats, or hammers. Guns and particularly guns that allow for rapid fire of 15 to 30 rounds are inherently more dangerous to society than knives or Louisville Sluggers, which is why they are the weapon of choice by all of these angry and despondent young male freaks.

So many law-abiding gun owners and Second Amendment zealots say they’re responsible gun owners and society doesn’t need to worry about them which is simply not true. Responsible people do not buy multiple guns and 30 round magazines and leave them in their home unsecured, especially when they have a psychologically troubled 20- year-old kid in the home as was the case in the Newtown murders. There are many gun control measures that we can put into place that will minimize the frequency of these events as well as the level of devastation when they do occur, so we need to implement greater gun control for the good of society despite Mr. Lee’s compelling reason of why he needs an AR-15 rifle of "because I want one Š. I enjoy shooting at the range Š I excel at it."

A right that was granted to us in 1791 by men in wigs who owned black slaves during a time when a musket was the weapon of the day needs to be re-evaluated for applicability to life in 2013 when we have rapid-fire weapons with 30 round gun magazines. It’s only common sense. My common sense tells me that if we had laws on the books that limited the number of guns one could purchase, own and store, that limited gun magazines to 3 or 5 rounds and mandated guns be secured in a biometric gun vault, that the Newtown massacre probably would not have occurred and if it still did, some of those 26 murder victims would be alive today.

So, now we wait to see if enough of our legislators have the common sense, the moral compass and selflessness to fight for greater gun control despite the reality that the NRA will try to use its muscle to get them voted out of office. And lastly, the NRA and all gun zealots should remember that people kill people and the vast majority of these killings are carried out with a gun. Enough said.

DAN ARCHEY

Phoenix, Az.

The writer is a Pittsfield native.