Traverse City Record-Eagle

Other Views

February 1, 2013

Another View: Law won't stop gun violence

President Barack Obama recently signed off on 23 executive orders he believes will curb gun violence in America. ...

Before the ink was dry, however, the National Rifle Association claimed Obama's executive orders and a $500 million proposal sent to Congress for approval would infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

Obama's executive orders included ... requiring federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations, ordering a review of safety standards for gun locks and gun safes and ordering tougher penalties for people who lie on background checks.

The proposal he sent to Congress includes a ban on armor-piercing ammunition by civilians, stiffer penalties for gun trafficking and training first responders on how to respond to shootings.

None of the orders signed by the president, nor the proposal he sent to Congress, calls for the government to come and confiscate the guns of millions of law-abiding Americans. But still, law-abiding gun owners are worried, and the worry seems to be largely unwarranted. ...

On the other hand, there is no simple solution to the problem. Gun-rights advocates argue that it's the shooter, not the gun, who are responsible for the carnage. And they're right. ...

Gun control advocates believe that (James) Holmes and (Adam) Lanza were able to kill and maim so many because they employed guns that used high-capacity magazines. It's a fair argument. Had they used only handguns or shotguns, perhaps the shooter may have been disarmed (while) reloading. ...

A gun under the bed or in a bedside drawer offers a sense of protection to a homeowner. They are often the first line of defense for a police officer in harm's way.

Guns are also used to rob, intimidate and murder. They've killed mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, sons and daughters. They've silenced political leaders, activists and heads of state.

But, above all else, gun ownership is one of our guaranteed freedoms as Americans. It's a right given to us by men who were unfamiliar with anything other than black-powder muskets and flintlock pistols. We wonder how the authors of our Constitution would have felt about AK-47s and AR-15s. ...

While we don't believe the president's actions represent an effort to disarm law-abiding Americans, we believe that no federal legislation will put an end to the threat of violence in every American community. ...

The News Courier, Athens, Ala.

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