I am at once appalled and disheartened by the recent furor over the gun issue. Are we, as a nation, about to be attacked by our own government? I do not believe this, but the way people are reacting, it would seem many think so.
I agree that we have the right to bear arms. Don't we also have the duty to care for the lives around us?
A 6-year-old doesn't carry a gun. No teacher should be made to become a police officer. They hardly are paid enough for the positions of responsibility they already hold.
I was struck by the recent article on the ordinance passed in Nelson, Ga., requiring every head of household to own a weapon and ammunition "to provide for the emergency management of the city" and to "provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants."
Doesn't this describe vigilantes, I thought? However, after reading the ordinance, I noted that it contains no penalties and exempts anyone who objects, convicted felons and anyone with proven mental incapacity. So is the point merely to startle and confound public opinion as a scare tactic? If the paper is going to print such an article, please in the future make sure it does not exclude the caveats. There is enough mass hysteria now.
I do not approve of the amount of guns readily available in this country. Nowhere in the Second Amendment does it state the owners of such weapons should not be subject to the same regulations as any other dangerous weapon. One reader recently pointed out that since 9/11, when 3,000 were killed, 270,000 deaths and injuries have been by gun violence. We cannot reasonably think all these are caused by felons or deranged individuals. They are often compared to cars, but guns have only one purpose.
Regulations such as what passed in Hartford may be a placebo to many, but what good is a "dangerous weapons offender" registry if it starts after 40 violations? (As mentioned in an April 2 article). Maybe one reader was right: Guns can be free but bullets should cost $500 each. Silly, but not much sillier than some of these new regulations, or that the NRA's answer is to arm school officials.
As a reader pointed out, what about movie theatres, strip malls, retail store outlets and streets?
There will be no solution unless all states adopt a reasonable policy. To buy a weapon anywhere, you should provide a valid photo ID. There should be at least a waiting period consistent with the ability of agencies to perform a comprehensive background check, and such agencies should be given sufficient funds for enforcement.
As in California, permits, trigger locks and gun safety classes should be mandatory. Any weapon so registered should be easily tracked if stolen from the rightful owner and used to commit a crime.
There is simply no point in having strictly enforced laws in one state when you can go to another where regulations are almost, if not completely, nonexistent. Are the gun manufacturers in Connecticut now going to move their businesses to Arizona?
Could we have a large dose of sanity, please?
Darryl Cole is a resident of Hayward.