|March 19, 2009, 11:47 AM||#1|
Join Date: August 12, 2006
Orlando Sentinel Editorial
Full of half truths, propaganda.
Quite expectedly, gun zealots are on the defensive following the recent shooting rampages in Alabama and Germany.
"The enemies of Liberty will use anything as an excuse to rape our civil rights," read a recent blog post by a gun activist.
Please, spare us the righteous indignation.
Most sensible people understand the difference between the legitimate, constitutional right to bear arms and the rat-a-tat chaos inflicted by assault weapons.
If people want to protect their homes they don't need an assault weapon.
It's time to get new ones off the streets by reinstating the assault-weapons ban that expired in 2004.
President Barack Obama has the political juice to make it happen, and it's on his list of things to do. He's said so on the campaign trial.
Go for it, sir.
Advancements in technology have enabled people to arm themselves beyond reasonable means. Coupled with the elimination of the assault-weapons ban, the prospect of more violence is alarming.
Getting these guns off the streets would make them safer. Why else would so many police chiefs and sheriffs, people not generally associated with wobbly-kneed liberals, agree?
In Alabama, 11 people — including the shooter — died after a barrage of bullets from a Bushmaster AR-15-style assault rifle and an SKS assault rifle. The shooter reportedly fired an excess of 200 rounds during the assault. He used high-capacity magazines taped together so when one was spent, it would be easier to reload.
Gun enthusiasts will argue that in some instances, all it takes is a couple of cosmetic features to make a gun fit the definition of an assault weapon. After all, a garden-variety hunting rifle works the same way as the most sinister-looking assault rifle — one shot per trigger pull.
But assault rifles mimic the design of military weapons that are meant to kill people, not deer, and sometimes feature such charming options as muzzle flash suppressors and bayonet mounts.
Banning assault weapons will help protect us in other ways: It's expected to help slow the flow of guns going across the Mexican border, which has been a hot spot for violence in recent months.
Mexican government officials are pointing accusatory fingers at the U.S. because of the availability of such guns from this country.
As in Mexico and its drug cartels, assault weapons seem to become guns of choice in the drug subculture.
Orlando Police Chief Val Demings understands the danger locally. She has no quarrel with true sporting-gun enthusiasts or those who want to protect their homes.
But Ms. Demings has serious concerns over criminals and other dangerous characters having such easy access to assault weapons, as if arming themselves for Armageddon. That's what it looks like on some of our nation's streets today. She sees it. Most of those who argue so passionately to protect assault weapons do not.
In Orange County alone, deputies have seized 321 AK-47s, AR-15s and other high-powered weapons between 2003 and 2007. And of the 42 murders in Orlando last year, five involved assault weapons, including the triple-murder at The Palms Apartments.
We understand that banning the sale of new assault weapons isn't a cure for violent crime. Having a more effective way of tracing guns that are sold by their original owner is equally important.
But reinstating the ban on assault weapons is a good place to start.
|March 19, 2009, 04:35 PM||#2|
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
2nd Amendment related. Let's see how this fares in L&CR.
"The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion." - John Lawton, speaking to the American Association of Broadcast Journalists in 1995