Letter: Give gun controls a chance
I was grateful to see that Sheriff Vallario toned down his rhetoric, and acknowledged that gun control, including an assault weapons ban, is at least a part of a gun violence prevention discussion (reported in the Post Independent, 2/27/18). The sheriff doesn’t think gun control would reduce acts like those that occurred in Parkland, Fla., and in far too many other places. I say, let’s give it a real try.
The Supreme Court in 2008 decided the Heller case dealing with a D.C. law which banned handgun possession in the home and required that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or have a trigger lock. The court held 5-4 that the law violated the Second Amendment and interpreted the amendment to allow handguns and other lawful firearms to be operable in the home for the purpose of self-defense. Up until then there was no court-sanctioned Second Amendment view that an individual right existed to possess and use a gun for reasons unrelated to militia service.
Neither the Supreme Court nor the Second Amendment says how many or what kind of guns one may have in the home for self-defense. As such, those areas can be lawfully regulated. We must talk to one another about this. Earnestly.
We should study the effects of gun control laws on the reduction of gun deaths here and in other countries. Yes, Columbine happened when we had an assault weapons ban in place, but we had no strong universal background checks then. We need a strong universal background check law, with a mental fitness component, a central gun registry and funding for the CDC to research the causes of gun violence. These are not radical notions.
Let’s do more than just banning bump stocks or raising the age of purchase of semi-automatic weapons to 21. Let’s ask ourselves, considering the number of gun deaths from military-style weapons, whether the fact that assault weapons are fun to fire justifies them being available without restriction. Let’s try another assault weapons ban, this time supported by a strong universal background check law. Let’s see what happens.
Joyce L. Jenkins
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