Not for a fleeting second did I think my column last week about guns being used to murder schoolchildren would change anyone’s position on controlling these killing machines commonly known as semi-automatic assault rifles.
Gun control is about as divisive an issue we confront as Americans, definitely up there with abortion. Ironically, both issues are about ending life. One revolves around the unborn, the other about young human beings.
Because of the great divide over gun control, I did expect to see quite a response to last week’s column. But that never happened. I only received three emails, including one from a Lincoln resident who asked that I not publish his comments.
Following are two responses, including the first one from Brian Bloedel, who calls Greenbush, Va., home:
“My brief response is that gun owners have a visceral understanding of what is at stake for their rights by the media assault on the AR class of firearms. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights specifically declare and guarantee the ‘well-regulated Militia,’ but makes no mention of sports, hunting or personal self-defense.
“In 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the question of legitimate controls and restrictions on certain classes of firearms regulated by the 1934 National Firearms Act in its US v Miller case. The Court used military/militia utility as the acid test of Second Amendment protection. In that specific case, a sawed-off shotgun was not afforded Second Amendment protection because the high court could find no indication that such a firearm was ‘part of the ordinary military equipment or could contribute to the common defense’ and was not ‘of the kind in common use at the time.’
“Gun owners instinctively realize that the AR class of firearms is a militia-grade firearm. If that class can be successfully banned, then the Second Amendment is effectively struck down as a ‘dead letter.’ All other types of firearms could then be regulated – or banned – at government discretion. This has already happened in Great Britain and is happening in real time in Australia and New Zealand.
“To close, I was an NRA Life Member for 20 years. I resigned in disgust when it became clear that Wayne LaPierre and the top leaders of the association were simply holding the Second Amendment hostage in order to line their pockets with money. They have never properly explained the Second Amendment to their own members, thereby leaving the general gun-owning population ignorant and misinformed as to the true nature of the Second Amendment and its relevance in modern America.
“This has now become a national crisis with the mass killings committed by deranged haters and the nationwide media call for stringent gun control.”
The other email came from B.D. Bennett. It follows:
“From Ronald Reagan: ‘You will not get gun control by disarming law-abiding citizens.’ There is only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and criminals, lock them up and if you do not actually throw away the key, at least lose it for a long time. It is a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun controllers.
“No matter how many guns you take off the street and ban people from buying them, they will be able to get them quickly underground. That means all of the automatic weapons.
“The problem is movies, magazines, tv and games. They glorify the big weapons and killing. A simple gunfight on tv and movies involves four or five people with automatics blowing the hell out of everything with glass breaking, material flying in the air, etc. Kids think that this is the coolest.
“Then the weaker-minded ones want to shoot and destroy, including other people, especially kids, because they are less likely to jump them and beat them half to death like an adult would do. What about rap songs that preach killing and beatings and rape? There are kids’ games galore that when kids are playing them, they are the shooters and get to see the people they shoot fall and roll and scream. The weak-minded think this is really cool.
“Wake the hell up!”
Dan Tackett is a retired managing editor of The Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.