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Taking aim at NRA talking points

The News and Sentinel ran a letter to the editor on Sept. 15 titled “No magic gun control law.” That letter was 12 paragraphs of confusion.

The writer began by attacking “red flag-laws.” Those laws would allow a responsible person to lawfully take guns away from a gun owner who’s planning a mass murder. He seemed to be more concerned about protecting the gun rights of the crazies than addressing the concerns of the responsible citizen.

Keep in mind, this particular gun argument is entirely about assault weapons. Most citizens want this issue settled and they think the best approach is to eliminate assault rifles. That’s the center of the current squabble.

First, do the math. There are 320 million people in the U.S. Of those, only about 30 percent own a firearm (and they own some 310 million firearms). That means about 224 million people (70 percent of the population) don’t own any firearms. Of all the firearms in the civilian arsenal, only about 3 percent fit the definition of “assault rifle.” In other words, assault weapon ownership is miniscule compared to the total arsenal. So why do some people think it would be wrong or unfair to put assault weapons on the chopping block?

That letter then condemned major retail stores (like Walmart and Kroger) for attempting to create “gun-free-zones” inside their stores. That writer thinks gun-free zones are a dumb idea. Gun-free zones would only invite gun-toting crazies to wander unsupervised in the adult diaper aisle. That dangerous situation would need to be counterbalanced by allowing a bunch of fully-armed righteous dudes to wander the same aisles. That’s typical NRA speak. It means we’ll all be safe only when everyone is fully-armed and ready for battle.

Then came the absurd part of that letter. That writer decided we needed a lesson in Constitutional Law, which he obviously isn’t qualified to teach. He proceeded to tell us how President Trump could, by executive order alone, create a new law to punish certain people if they try to acquire firearms. That one paragraph shows how far out of touch that writer is with reality. A president cannot create or change criminal law with an executive order. Changes in criminal law require exacting legislative procedures.

Last, the writer took a cheap shot at the “fake news media.” I’ll be surprised if the local “fake news media” continues to print his letters.

Ralph Chambers

Parkersburg

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