To the Editor:
Re: Letter to the Editor from Ron Brown, 10 Nov 2012
Mr. Brown states that there “are practically no effective gun control laws in the U.S. today.” That is in fact just wrong. There are thousands of laws on the books in every state and federal laws.
In fact, Mr. Brown talks of automatic (a firearm where a single pull of the trigger fires rounds until the trigger is let off), high-power weapons; he is more likely talking about a semiautomatic firearm (trigger is pulled, round fired and another round is loaded).
In 1934, the United States placed very stringent laws on the possession of automatic weapons and the security and the licensing requirements to own them.
Yes, a citizen of the United States can own a fully automatic weapon legally. There are few, if any, instances where a legally owned automatic firearm has been used in a crime in the nearly 30 years since the laws were enacted.
The real issue Mr. Brown should concern himself with is the fact that the government of the United States chooses to ignore the laws on the books.
He gives a number of statistics, but the U.N. (not a lover of guns in individual hands) lists 9,146 as the number of gun-related homicides in 2009 — far fewer than the 30,000 he talks about per year.
Yes, there are a large number of deaths and injuries from gun violence; that is fact. But, how many are from people who are legally restricted from possessing a weapon? How many are gang-related violence?
Mr. Brown’s solution seems to be abrogating my right to possess a weapon or weapons. Why not enforce the laws already on the books? I for one believe that when guns are regulated and ultimately outlawed, then criminals will be the ones possessing the weapons and the average citizen will be without the means to defend himself.
The framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights feared a disarmed citizenry and a strong military. They wrote the Second Amendment to the Constitution to ensure the right of citizens to possess firearms. The police can only do so much and will not be there at the moment you need them. They all too often investigate a murder; they do not prevent it from happening, except in very rare circumstances.