George B. Reed Jr.: It’s guns again | Columns

Gun News


I read that now that the Democrats control the White House and Congress they will soon be coming after our guns. Nothing could be more ridiculous.

The Nationals Rifle Association’s (NRA) — or the “National Republican Association” — warnings that the government will soon break into our homes and take our rifles, shotguns and self-protection handguns are nothing but fear-mongering and scare tactics.

The early American colonists were granted the right to own firearms by the English Common Law Bill of Rights of 1689. The Second Constitutional Amendment, about which the NRA crows so loudly, authorizes state militias as stated, not private gun ownership. Anyway, aren’t we also protected against unreasonable searches and seizures by the 4th Constitutional Amendment?

I have read that a majority of the rank-and-file NRA members actually favor some kind of gun control legislation, but the arms industry lobby money speaks louder. The firearms and ammunition manufacturers fear that any firearms control laws at all will slow down their sales. In the past, rumors of pending gun-control legislation have resulted in panicky firearms and ammunition buying.

What particularly irks conservatives is any comparison of American statistics with those of other developed nations. Recent numbers show we are particularly deficient in the standard of living/quality of life index, the world happiness scale, health care quality and costs, violent crime statistics and drug traffic interdiction. We fail to measure up as the world’s wealthiest and most powerful nation might be expected.

But our worst failure is the wholesale killing of innocent school children by uncontrolled firearms in the hands of individuals who should never have had them in the first place. Statistics indicate that Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by guns than people of other developed countries. Nations with lower homicide rates probably have proportionately as many mentally deranged people as we do, but they don’t have our easy access to guns.

While other countries might also have high suicide rates, the U.S. suicide-by-gun rate is many times higher. These figures come from a study published February 1, 2018, in the American Journal of Medicine. The study concluded, “These results are consistent with the hypothesis that our firearms are killing us rather than protecting us as the NRA claims.” But does easy access to guns also increase suicide rates? Although many suicides are planned and long in coming, others are the result of sudden urges or impulses which may soon go away if not immediately acted upon.

Let me reemphasize, the firearms industry fears that any attempt at purchaser background checks and firearms registration will seriously affect their sales revenues. Thus, they are trying to convince us that any effort whatsoever at firearms registration and purchaser background checks will result in the government coming into our homes and taking away our guns.

To own and operate a car I must obtain a driver’s license and register my car. But I have no fear that because of these regulations the government can barge into my garage and haul off my automobile? Rumors of gun confiscation are irresponsible fear-mongering by the NRA aimed at blocking any type of gun control legislation, no matter how reasonable.

On at least two occasions before gun-industry lobbying days the NRA advised and assisted Congress in writing reasonable gun-control laws. Rumors of government denial of arms bearing rights and gun confiscation are totally unfounded fear tactics and little else.



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