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With yet another mass shooting in the news today, I can understand (though not agree with), the gun control advocates. I believe in the spirit and inent of the Second Amendment. I grew up in an extended family who all had guns. I went shooting and hunting as a child and learned respect for firearms.

However, I do find it disturbing that there are so many innocent victims of shootings. Whenever there is an upswing in a particular kind of death, people have a tendency to call for tougher laws. We see this with DUI, texting and cell phone use by drivers, child abuse and domestic violence, to name a few. In some cases, such as domestic violence, a change in laws and attitudes has been needed. In others, the focus has been on preventing only the dangerous people access to “killing tools” – as in drunk driving laws.

Nobody has ever suggested motor vehicles be banned because they are killing people. The blame is placed where it belongs, on the driver. We do not insist cars be smaller or incapable of high speeds. Drivers who have killed people stand trial, not the automobile manufacturer. Yet, driving is a privilege, not a right.

Years ago, I would have said that I favor “sensible gun laws”. That was before the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun advocates co-opted that phrase to mean “burdensome laws that make it nearly impossible for anyone to own or carry a gun”. I favor background checks as a way to keep guns from being purchased by known criminals or mentally ill people. True, preventing legal purchase doesn’t eliminate illegal purchase. But, it does make sense to try to prevent it being easy. With modern computerized systems, this check is barely an inconvenience for the law abiding citizen.

Other laws and proposed laws make little sense to me. For example the “high capacity magazine” bans already in place in some states. Gun control advocates want these laws to be nationwide. Now, I can agree that average citizens have no real need of a 100 round drum magazine as was used by the Colorado theater killer. But, why is 10 the magic number that determines whether a magazine is “high capacity”? Many modern pistols are manufactured with 12-15 round magazines. I don’t honestly see why 10 is good and 12 is bad. To me, it would seem that “high capacity” magazine would be one that has more capacity than the standard capacity the gun was designed to hold. The proposal the anti-gun crowd advocates makes no sense to me.

It’s unfortunate that both sides in the gun control debate are completely unwilling to have reasonable discussion on how to keep the public safe without infringing upon the right of the law abiding citizen to own and carry a firearm.

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