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LETTER: Editorial on gun control was wrong

To the Editor: There's a lot wrong with The Daily Republic's editorial criticizing South Dakota's senators and congresswoman for their non-support of President Barack Obama's gun proposals. First, there were fewer than 9,000 gun murders in the U....

To the Editor:

There's a lot wrong with The Daily Republic's editorial criticizing South Dakota's senators and congresswoman for their non-support of President Barack Obama's gun proposals.

First, there were fewer than 9,000 gun murders in the U.S. The 30,000-plus figure in the editorial includes gun suicides. Some nations with strict gun controls have higher suicide rates than the U.S.

The self-described hunting and shooting editorial board states gun owners "should be happy" to go to more effort to purchase firearms if it stops mass shootings and violence. Perhaps they are unaware that nonfatal gun crimes dropped 75 percent, and the gun homicide rate fell 40 percent in the last two decades?

Extra effort isn't the only effect of what the president proposed. He also called for "smart technology" so only a gun's owner could shoot it. That will be yet another cost passed on to gun owners.

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In his speech, the president gave special mention to retailers who decided to no longer sell semi-automatic firearms, which corresponds to his previous comments on gun policy in Australia and the UK. Australia bans semi-automatic and slide action guns, the type used by most South Dakota bird hunters. Gun ownership in the UK is so complicated and costly ownership is now low. That's the goal: making gun ownership so onerous and expensive few will be willing to own guns.

Background checks already exist in many states. Gun control supporters often brag about how many criminals have been prevented from purchasing. But the president didn't mention how many criminals are in jail for illegally trying to buy a gun because prosecutions are rare. How about enforcing existing laws before burdening other Americans with more hassle and expense?

Last and worst, the editorial states, "Owning a gun is a privilege," pointing out gun ownership is prohibited to felons. No. It's a Constitutional right. The right of citizens to bear arms is specifically defined in the Second Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights. That's Bill of Rights, not Bill of Privileges. The editorial board needs to read the Constitution.

Bruce Berg

Oacoma

Related Topics: SECOND AMENDMENT
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