Letter: Quiet reasonable discussion needed to minimize fatalities in future school shootings

Editor:

A lot has been said on both sides of the gun control/gun laws (depending on your side) issue. Minds are not frequently changed, but positions harden.

Some facts we should be able to agree on. First, the argument that violent video games is the slippery slope to school shootings. Research has shown, for decades, that this is not true. The NRA, always looking for a scapegoat, has blamed these games on setting school shooters on their mission.

In 1940, New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia announced that Pinball was “dominated by interests heavily tainted by criminality.” It’s interesting that the NRA states that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” but doesn’t seem to apply the same standard to video games.

Another argument is that an armed citizenry is needed to combat a tyrannical government. Some 227 years ago, when the 2nd amendment was passed, the government had the same weapons the citizenry had – muskets and farm tools. Today, if a “tyrannical government” wanted to overtake the country even the most powerful weapon individuals can purchase would be a pea-shooter compared to the weapons the government has at its disposal. The ‘war’ might take three weeks.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” My question is, how do you have a “well-regulated Militia” without regulations? It doesn’t say a militia, or a regulated militia, is says a well-regulated militia. A well-regulated militia also implies a well-trained, disciplined group of organized people; certainly not what we have now. Further, against what one writer wrote recently, no one is sure exactly what our fore fathers meant by a well-regulated militia.

The meaning has been discussed for decades, if not centuries. It not unreasonable to expect a school shooter, or anyone, be denied access to any weapon that can be modified to shoot dozens of bullets on a single squeeze of the trigger. A hand gun may kill 2,3, or 4, but a modified AR-15 could kill dozens.

Let’s have a quiet and reasonable discussion about ways to minimize fatalities in future school shootings.

Bob Burke

Lake Montezuma

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