Pro-gunners should listen

It’s frustrating reading letters-to-the-editor from the pro-gun citizens. These writers seldom bring anything to the perpetual gun debate other than a distorted reverence for the Second Amendment. None of these guys seem to understand that moderation and common sense is not an attack on their gun rights. Trying to reduce gun violence and get certain weapons off the street is not an effort to destroy their beloved amendment. Unfortunately, the NRA rhetoric on this subject serves no purpose other than to fuel the fire, which creates the smoke, which obscures the effort at logic and reason.

U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and six others were shot with a pistol holding a 30-round magazine. The shooter was overpowered when he tried to reload after firing 30 rounds. Maybe some of those victims would be in good health today if that magazine held only, say, 10 rounds. Who knows? And I can’t think of any good reason why anyone needs a 30-round magazine, unless they live in Afghanistan.

So let’s apply some common sense to that issue and trash the big magazines. Who, outside of the military or police, need an assault rifle. Yep. I know. They’re fun to shoot. But they’re really not suitable for hunting. If you want self defense buy a 12 gauge pump. The sound it makes jacking a shell in the chamber would send most intruders running. By taking assault rifles off the market we might prevent another Newtown tragedy. Is that a guarantee? Of course not. But it might help in the future and it’s a good starting point. So let’s apply some logic, reason, hope and prayer to that issue and see if it works.

The courts have ruled it unlawful to shout “fire” in a crowded theater. No reasonable person would dispute a rule of law as sensible as that one. But is that an unjustified restriction on our First Amendment right of free speech? The court says it isn’t. And reasonable people everywhere accept that rule as good common sense and not a restriction on free speech.

The same common sense can apply to limits on gun ownership. Despite the hysterical claims of the NRA, limiting access to certain firearms and high-capacity magazines will not destroy the Second Amendment. There’s logic and reason in most of the recent gun control proposals. They are neither radical nor destructive. The pro-gunners should try listening for a change instead of pushing back.

Ralph Chambers

Parkersburg