Gun control

Leon Archer
Leon Archer

by Leon Archer

This is not the article I had planned to write for this week and it’s not one that I enjoy writing.

Several people have asked me what I thought about gun control now, after the horrible atrocity at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut.

It’s been hard to answer them, not because I don’t have thoughts on what happened and on gun control, but because I can’t give them the answer I think they may want to hear without being misunderstood. So I decided to address this in print.

Not everyone, and certainly not a lot of NRA guys, would go along with me, but I pretty much agree with the gun control crowd on this one: 100 shot or even 30 shot clips are not needed for hunting and I am not at all sure they would be needed in a case of someone breaking into one’s home.

After that, the rest of my thoughts I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t win any kudos from the anti-gun bunch.

It is likely that we will see some kind of assault rifle ban coming out of all of this. Does that bother me?

Well, yes and no. It depends on a number of things. If the ban is for a few select weapons that are true assault weapons, I guess I could live with it, but the problem is that a great many of the new generation of hunting guns look like assault weapons.

Media people and gun control proponents are afraid of and want to condemn, and if possible, ban a whole class of guns because of their looks. But, and have no doubt about it, a semi-automatic that looks like every other rifle has looked for a hundred years can be every bit as deadly as an “AR.”

By the way, AR does not stand for assault rifle, it comes from the name of the manufacturer that turns out high performance, low recoil hunting weapons that look like military weapons. That company is Armalite, and they did develop the AR15, which was licensed to colt to be built for our armed forces.

The AR15 is in use around the world and it is almost as good as the AK47; some would argue better.

The look has been copied by other manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe and they invariably are called assault rifles by the people who barely know one end of a gun from another.

The other negative, and it’s one I think is more important, is an assault rifle ban is not even a band-aid, it is only a feel good piece of legislation that doesn’t cost anything, but unfortunately, it will give many a false sense of security, while doing absolutely nothing to stem the gun violence.

The things that can be of real value in helping to prevent scenes of carnage such as was just suffered in Connecticut, will cost money.

The legislation will be some time before it’s enacted, and without a doubt, that legislation will end up being examined by the Supreme Court.

The one thing realistic, helpful legislation will not be is gun control, with the exception that I believe we will see legislation that requires background checks for gun buyers at gun shows, and that’s not a bad thing.

If we are going to prevent at least some of these tragedies from ever happening, we need workable legislation that will enable us to identify and help or somehow control those individuals who would be most likely to become perpetrators of such deeds.

To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397
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