I can't resist the urge to offer a few comments about the letter from A.E. Andress regarding a "rational and reasonable" approach to guns. I'll address the proposed "modifications" to the Second Amendment by the numbers.
1. Universal, comprehensive background checks. The Tucson shooting, the Aurora shooting, and the Newtown shooting were all reportedly done with weapons that were purchased from licensed gun dealers, hence, the purchasers went through the already federally mandated background checks. Even the guy who shot President Reagan and Mr. Brady, for whom the Brady Bill is erroneously named, reportedly bought his gun legally, months before the attack. How would increased or enhanced background checks have prevented any of these shootings? And how would you enforce it? How would the government know if, for example, I sold one of my guns to a friend? And do you think criminals will report their sales?
2. Banning "assault weapons": Semi-automatic weapons have been around since before the turn of the 20th century, and even anti-gun President Clinton's Justice Department testified in Congress that they are involved in a miniscule percentage of crimes. And, given the number of such guns that are already in private possession, does anyone seriously think passing a law will entice criminals into turning theirs in? And have you read Senator Feinstein's bill? A semi-automatic rifle that would otherwise be legal is an "assault weapon" if it has a pistol grip. How does the shape of the grip make a gun more or less dangerous?
3. Banning "multi-shot cartridges"? Forgive me, but if you're going to comment on something, you really should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of what you're talking about. There is no such thing as a multi-shot cartridge. A cartridge is a single unit of ammunition. They are typically held in either a clip, a magazine, or in some cases, a belt. And since I'm assuming you mean multi-shot magazines, etc., what limit would you place on them, and how would it prevent or diminish criminal assaults? With very little practice, one can change magazines on most semi-autos in a second or so. So would you feel safer if I carried three 10 round magazines instead of one 30 round magazine? And given that there are already millions of high capacity magazines in circulation, how would you round them all up? Oh, I forgot, the criminals will all turn theirs in.
It would seem to me that A.E. Andress' approach to guns appears to be neither rational or reasonable.
Rick E. Brenfleck