Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

January 26, 2013

Another View: Pass gun legislation

All of the aspects of President Obama's $500 million gun legislation plan could be effective in decreasing the incidence of mass shootings in the United States.

It would seem difficult for any rational person, given the pain of tragedies such as the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month, to argue against such measures.

Yet, argue many people will. Some will say that it won't do any good, that a person bent on killing others will find a way. Perhaps, but does the way have to be so easy? And, even if the effectiveness of the strategies laid out in Obama's plan isn't guaranteed, aren't we at least compelled to try — in honor of the innocents who have died and in defense of those who could become targets?

This isn't about striking down the Second Amendment, which protects the right of Americans to bear arms. We're not talking here about the shotgun your neighbor uses to shoot skeet or hunt rabbits or about the pistol you keep in your closet to protect your home. We're talking here about guns that are designed to kill dozens of people within a few minutes. And we're talking about protecting our children from the depraved minds that would turn such weapons upon them.

Obama's plan has an uphill battle in Congress. Some senators and representatives are beholden to special interests. Some will hide behind the Second Amendment. Others simply don't care as much as they should.

If this Congress doesn't pass Obama's plan — or another plan with as much teeth — it will have failed all of us again and sustained the current environment, an environment in which any deranged individual can easily obtain weapons and ammunition to kill a classroom full of innocents.

The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.

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