Violence will continue without gun control | News, Sports, Jobs

For the editor:

Every time there is a massacre in the United States, people fearing for their safety buy more guns. The most fanatical among them buy AR type semi-automatic rifles, high capacity magazines and tons of ammunition. Since there is a strong correlation between the number of these types of firearms and mass murder, it is a self-perpetuating pattern.

The response from the right is also a model. It involves thoughts and prayers followed by ridiculous arguments that hammers, knives, and shovels can be just as deadly or that a hand-action shotgun can be fired at a similar speed. They absolutely cannot.

Mass killers choose semi-automatic rifles using high-powered centerfire ammunition and high-capacity magazines for one simple reason. These are the most effective ways to kill large numbers of people.

The equivalence fallacy is usually followed by the argument that more people are killed in automobiles and that we didn’t ban cars. This may also be true, but governments have mitigated road deaths by implementing many laws regulating cars, drivers and roads, as I pointed out in a previous letter.

A Republican member of Congress recently said that we “didn’t have a conversation about banning planes” after September 11. While this is true, we have created a whole new bureaucracy and implemented many new regulations to prevent this from happening again. These regulations include passengers going through a full body scanner or metal detector before flying. Knives, guns and box cutters are now prohibited in carry-on baggage, and cockpit doors are now reinforced and locked before takeoff. In other words, the government has taken steps to mitigate future deaths.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to own firearms. I own firearms and I agree with the decision. I don’t want guns banned. However, there is a preeminent right conferred by the creator and defined in the Declaration of Independence. It is the right of all citizens to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It is high time to recognize this inalienable right and to enact gun control measures that truly mitigate the carnage. If we don’t, the pattern of death will continue and more innocent children and adults will die needlessly.

Harry M. Geedey

Lewistown, Pennsylvania

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