I would like to second Mr. Sciaroni’s letter on guns. I’m a Vietnam-era vet and have enjoyed the shooting sports for 55 years. I enjoyed precision target shooting, taking Handloader magazine from issue No. 1.
I think the current stance of the NRA is flawed but understandable from their point of view and corporate relationships. The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not going away. Law-abiding citizens without criminal or mental restrictions will head to the gun shop and choose from a vast assortment of firearms. What I hope are soon missing are any firearms capable of receiving 30- to 100-round magazines. A military-style arm with these magazines is strictly anti-personnel, and this extent of firepower makes them very dangerous in the wrong hands. The shooter in the Colorado theater had a Bushmaster with a 100-round magazine, but fortunately, it jammed. Had it worked flawlessly to the last round, the death toll could have been double or triple. If I would have been in the front row of that theater, I would probably be dead. If the shooter had been using a standard bolt action deer rifle with a three- to four-round capacity, I would have jumped him as soon as he tried to reload (I’m a big guy).
You can enjoy the shooting sports without weaponizing the evil and the mentally ill with massive, unnecessary firepower. People who think they need this capacity to protect themselves against the possibility of a tyrannical government are delusional. In 1776, the English had muskets and cannons, and we had muskets and cannons. Today, you would need shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank rockets, drones, etc., to even begin thinking about “fighting tyranny,” and the government would still hold the nuclear card.
It’s also been suggested we arm school personnel. If you allow people with concealed firearm permits to enter school grounds, you’re assuming they’re all rational. If you legally obtained a permit and since then have seen your business fail, lost your house, your wife left you and you’re having angry even desperate thoughts, are you going to voluntarily cancel your permit due to stress? I think not. The only way to stop school shootings is to set up some sort of screening process that keeps firearms out.
So let’s have some of the common-sense reforms being suggested in the press:
Enforce background checks for all firearm purchases, including gun shows; expand mental health evaluation and treatment; outlaw violent video games that glorify mass slaughter; for civilians, limit firearm magazines to 10 rounds (I would prefer six rounds).
Gregg Littell lives in Auburn.
Today, you would need shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank rockets, drones, etc., to even begin thinking about “fighting tyranny” …