To the editor:
Let me start by saying that not all my comments in this letter are directed at Larry Baker, but at others. It's a case of if the shoe fits, wear it. That said, here goes.
I agree that a dialog is necessary, not only about firearms but other things as well, and yes my heart goes out to the families of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It was a terrible thing and I pray that it never happens again. At the same time I do not agree with Mr. Baker that there is need for restrictions imposed on law abiding citizens as far as the type of firearm used in this slaughter.
Let me say that I too am a gun owner, a hunter and am well familiar with the safe use of many types of firearms. My training began as a youth and progressed through the military where I used the M-14 and M-16 rifles, M-60 machine gun and M-79 grenade launcher. I am now 66 years of age so I have been using firearms for a long time. I am a proud member of the NRA and will remain a member.
The Second Amendment states, "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." It exists for the purpose of security or protection, not hunting or target shooting. These activities are a welcome side effect and benefit of the fact that we have the right to bear arms. A militia is not the military but civilians, common everyday people. The general population. What kind of protection are the arms for? Self protection, protection from criminal assault, but mainly, protection for an overbearing government that refuses to abide by the U.S. Constitution. What kind of arms? Whatever it takes to do the job.
Back when the U.S. Constitution was written, the military and militia had flintlock rifles. Today the military has rifles on the AR platform and the militia of general population should have the same. Do I personally have an AR platform rifle? No, I do not, but if I want one I should be allowed to have it.
Mr. Baker said that Adam Lanza fired 100 rounds or more and that he lined them up then shot them multiple times. Does shooting someone more than once make them more dead? Adam reloaded many times, Mr. Baker said.
My point is, the same disaster could have been accomplished with an ordinary hunting rifle that had separate clips. Twenty-six people were killed. If the clip of the rifle held five rounds with one round in the chamber to start Adam Lanza would only have had to reload four times to kill his victims if he only shot them once.
It makes no sense to make the gun the villain. The gun is only a tool like a hammer or a screwdriver, both of which have been used for murder in the past, by the way. Sometimes crazy people do terrible things. They have driven cars through crowds of people. They make bombs. They even push people in front of trains. I don't know what you do to find all the nuts and keep them away from the public so they can't harm anyone.
It's easy to say get the guns, or in this case, get the AR type rifles, but that doesn't solve anything. I understand that you can go online and there are websites where you can get detailed directions on how to make bombs, but I don't hear anyone proposing that we make the Internet illegal.
You can make all sorts of things illegal, but those people who want them for an illegal purpose will still get them, because they do not care if the object is illegal if what they are going to do with it is illegal. I remember a bank robbery in California some years back when the former ban on AR type rifles was still in effect. The bank robbers had M-16s and body protection and shot it out with police for some time wounding many of them. It was not lawful for them to have M-16s. The police didn't even have them, but the robbers did.
It's alright in some people's minds to go after law-abiding gun owners and attempt to take away our Second Amendment rights but these same people would never consider going after those who make these violent movies and especially the violent video games where the player is put right behind the gun sight and the object is to see how many people you can kill. No, that would be a violation of their First Amendment rights. Even more hypocritical is the fact that there are many, many owners of AR-platform rifles who hunt with them and enjoy spending time at the range shooting them and do no one any harm and are no threat to anyone.
Most of the people that are now screaming that the law-abiding gun owners have no right to own these guns will turn right around and defend a woman's right to kill her unborn child by having an abortion. You heartless hypocrites. You get all bent out of shape because 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook but you don't try to prevent the thousands of babies who will be killed at abortion clinics in the coming year, nor do you shed a tear for the nearly 50 million who have been killed already. You people are much more deadly and dangerous than any gun owner could ever be. It think this country needs to get its priorities in line.
Stephen F. Sellers