WILTZ: These points are as sensible as anything I've heard in the mediaI wish today’s column could be “’Tis the season to be jolly” and Christmas cookies, but the recent Connecticut tragedy has overcome my yuletide spirit.
By: Roger Wiltz, The Daily Republic
I wish today’s column could be “’Tis the season to be jolly” and Christmas cookies, but the recent Connecticut tragedy has overcome my yuletide spirit. First and foremost, we have the loss of precious children and adults. But I also know full well that our incredible Second Amendment right to bear arms will come under heavy fire as a result of the heinous massacre at the Sandy Hook school.
Rather than criticize Congresswomen like California’s Sen. Feinstein, who will introduce anti-gun legislation in the coming 2013 legislative session, I’ll suggest some positive things we can do.
First, I believe that we must again examine our handling of the mentally disturbed, who roam about in our society. Unfortunately, at least for the present, the Civil Liberties Union will not allow us to touch this sensitive issue. But I also know that no matter what is done, there will always be a few mentally unbalanced individuals who fall between the cracks, and further gun restrictions will not make them go away.
When Ms. Feinstein prepares to submit a new bill, definition of terms will be a major contention. I’d like to know how they are going to define the term “assault rifle.” Until the Connecticut tragedy, I thought an assault rifle was a fully automatic weapon used by the military. These rifles are illegal. It now appears to me after watching TV the last few days that the media is defining an assault rifle as a semi-automatic rifle with a black composite stock. This same rifle uses a detachable clip magazine. I would guess that the most famous prototype is Colt’s AR-15.
Today, more and more of these so called “assault rifles” are being used by both deer and predator hunters. I also see photos of these rifles in the advertisements I receive in the mail from Cabela’s. Personally I don’t care for these rifles as I’m a very traditional wood stock and blue metal guy. However, I’ll battle to the very end for the right to own one of these rifles.
Though I’m an NRA (National Rifle Association) life member and proud of it, the following statement will alienate me from many of my NRA peers. If through rational thinking and debate from both sides of the isle, our lawmakers proposed that the maximum capacity for ammunition clips be 10 rounds (except for police and military), I’d support that. Coyote hunters and target shooters don’t need 30-round clips. Our Game, Fish and Parks Department already limits magazine capacity for deer hunters, and I’ve never heard anyone criticize the policy. It is a restriction this gun owner can live with.
To a lesser degree, we must also look at security in our schools — something most school districts cannot afford on a major scale. We must also take a hard look at the amount of national coverage our media has given to the sick perpetrators of these acts. It just might be motivating them.
There is no doubt in my mind that the lives saved every single day by innocent armed citizens outnumber the lives lost at Sandy Hook. In spite of this, those of us who champion the Second Amendment are in for the fight of our lives. Don’t look for our present-day media to report on those who save lives with a gun. If you are interested in some of these pro-gun accounts, check “The Armed Citizen” page in the NRA’s “American Rifleman” or “American Hunter” magazines. Every anti-gun incident will be thrown at the Second Amendment people. Want another example?
Prior to Sandy Hook, a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker murdered his girlfriend and then took his own life with a handgun. That night on prime-time television, NBC’s Bob Costas delivered a scathing attack on handguns that was totally uncalled for. Never mind the behavior brought on by the alcohol that flowed through Jovan Belcher’s brain cells. It’s time for the NFL to put a tighter leash on some of their irresponsible millionaires, but that’s another story — there was also a recent tragedy in Dallas.
In reporting the Sandy Hook killings, CNN attempted to vilify the perpetrator’s mother for owning some legally acquired guns. If she’s a villain for owning some semi-automatic pistols and a semi-automatic rifle, so am I… and so are many of your friends. She did make one huge mistake. Because she knew her son had some mental problems, her guns should have been locked in a safe that only she had access to. I strongly recommend a gun safe to anyone who owns firearms.
Isn’t it interesting that the Chinese have commented on our so called lack of gun control following the Sandy Hook tragedy? This is big talk for a government that has murdered thousands of its citizens. Hitler confiscated peoples’ guns before implementing the systematic extermination of the Jewish people. No further comment is needed.
If I have made any significant points today, the most important might be my thoughts on gun safes. In just about every senseless slaughter we’ve witnessed in recent times, the irresponsible shooter had access to someone else’s guns. A gun safe would keep those guns out of the wrong hands. Also, thieves and burglars won’t crack a quality gun safe. Finally, a gun safe will also pay for itself. Since acquiring a quality gun safe, I’ve no longer needed to pay for a gun rider on my homeowner insurance policy. Enough said.
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I treasure my faithful readers and the privilege of being in your newspaper. May health and good fortune follow you and yours into the New Year, and may God’s gift to us, the Christ child, be a dominant presence in your lives.
See you next week.