Thu, May 23

Letter: Government should pass federal gun safety measures


Tina Gazdon wrote on Dec. 12 that the way to reduce gun violence from within or without our country is to arm everyone.

I certainly do not favor restricting all guns. Our country has a rich gun culture and has untold numbers of responsible gun owners who enjoy sport shooting, hunting, or feel the need for protection. That right should never be restricted.

I favor responsible gun ownership, which includes the knowledge of how to properly handle a gun, and training on when to use a gun.

In Arizona, one can purchase a gun and receive a carry permit without ever taking a gun safety class. That is not responsible, and our legislature is to blame for that. Until that happens, I do not want to be in a situation where a well-meaning citizen hears gunfire, sees a woman wearing a burka, and makes a horrible mistake.

A "good guy" with a gun who panics is as dangerous as a bad guy with a gun.

Ms. Gazdon points out that Chicago, with strong gun laws, still has some of the highest gun deaths and injuries in the country.

She asks "What does this say about gun control laws?" This is a popular argument from anti-gun safety people. What it says is that we need federal gun safety measures. All a person in Chicago has to do is drive a couple hours south and he or she can purchase all the guns they need, carry them back to Chicago, and fire at will.

A better comparison is the state of Hawaii. Hawaii has some of the strongest gun safety laws in the country, and has the lowest gun violence incidents.

What does that say about gun laws? It says if you can't bring guns into a state with reasonable gun safety laws, you lower the chance of gun violence. Since many states lack the will to enact background checks and limits on automatic weapons as well as strengthening the permit system, the government should pass federal gun safety measures.

Bob Burke

Beaver Creek