Louder

Wall of gunsEven whisper anything about controlling guns, and the wrath of the National Rifle Association comes down on you in force.

Yet there must be even members of the NRA with a conscience who are troubled by the periodic outburst of relentless massacres of innocent people with automatic weapons. Surely some of the NRA members recognize that the United States must take steps, at least beginning steps, to control the outbursts and senseless killings by deranged people who spray down the innocent with repeated bullets from uncontrolled automatic weapons.

We suspect most Americans, perhaps even three-fourths of them, would recognize and applaud sportsmen and homeowners who want to own a gun, no matter the reason. Many also share the underlining basis of ownership, the Second Amendment “right to bear arms.”

But certainly in this right to bear arms, most Americans don’t think you should be allowed to own canons, howitzers, battleships, AK-47s and automatic pistols within the scope of this law. These weapons are something that defense forces need, not individual deer hunters, or people safeguarding their home.

Yet the senseless killing in Connecticut last week of 28 people, 20 of them first graders, should bring everyone in the country to a position of questioning how our nation allows individuals to have control of these weapons. Automatic guns are, essentially, weapons of mass destruction, in that they can inflict bodily harm to so many people so fast. No doubt many of those shot in the Connecticut school would have survived had they been shot only once with a single-shot weapon. But the automatic weapons can tear into anyone’s body several times in a split second, pushing their killer powers to a higher degree.

Incidents such as our nation witnessed last week seem to be popping up far more often than in the past. Those thinking through the causes of these mass killings give more than one reason for how they come about. After all, we live in a complex society. It may take action on several fronts, over a great deal of time, to address these causes and take action to eliminate the causes.

Yet what is needed is relatively quick action, best driven by our national Congress, to take on the National Rifle Association, essentially a uniting of Democratic and Republican forces, who need to show they are fed up with the killings.

It is time to say to the NRA and others with their never-wavering agenda, simply “Enough!”

No one needs to ban all arms, or require registration across the board. What is needed is action to halt manufacturers and arms-dealers (even those in our own neighborhoods) from selling automatic weapons to anyone save the government. Put up the money to buy out these weapons from the dealers, and to halt immediately their manufacturing. Require stiff penalty, including prison, to any arms exec or dealer who violates this law. Let’s get something solid done about dealing in automatic weapons, the sooner the better, so that our nation won’t have to suffer through another mass killing.

So, hunters and those safeguarding your home, relent some! Tell Congress you want this limited action of banning the automatic weapons. And sleep better afterward, knowing your Second Amendment right to bear arms is still in effect just like the Revolutionary War soldiers had… without automatic weapons.

As for the Congress, our nation should hold each Senator’s and Representative’s feet to the fire until they move into action.

We’re fed up with mass killings. The USA needs to take on the NRA! We want the repeal of automatic weapon sales!

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Editor's note: This story originally published at the GwinnettForum.com. Wall of guns for sale photo by Mike Saechang via his flickr photostream and used under creative commons license.
Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack is a native Georgian and veteran newspaperman. He published the weekly Wayne County Press for 12 years; was for 13 years the vice president and general manager of Gwinnett Daily News, and for 13 years was associate publisher of the Gwinnett section of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He now publishes, in retirement, Web sites on Gwinnett County, http://www.gwinnettforum.com, and Georgia news, http://www.georgiaclips.com.