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Nothing sinister in red flag laws

The Oct. 27 News and Sentinel printed a letter to the editor protesting efforts to reduce gun violence. That letter was titled “Red flag laws not the answer.”

That letter was a hodgepodge collection of buzz-words borrowed from conservative media, expressing a love for guns and a total misrepresentation of anything liberal.

That writer completely misunderstands the reality many of our citizens are struggling with. Most of our people are just plain sick of the malevolent, violence and mayhem caused by crazies with firearms.

That writer casually trashed “red-flag” laws as unconstitutional. Red-flag laws allow police or family members to petition the courts for temporary removal of firearms from someone who might be a danger to themselves or others. After a set time the guns are returned to the owner from whom they were seized unless a court hearing extends the period of confiscation. That’s it! Nothing sinister about it. It’s a reasonable method of disarming suicidal or homicidal people. Also, nobody is denied due-process, as that writer so wrongly claimed. To-date, 17 states have enacted red-flag laws.

That writer also condemned comprehensive back-ground checks as unworkable and a waste of time. The ridiculous legal examples he used to explain his opinions were absolutely laughable and completely unsupported by any quotable point of law.

Then came the fantasy-land part of his letter. He claimed “America lost its moral compass” in the 1960s when school prayer was outlawed. He suggested that helped start the mass killings. If that individual had actually researched the subject of mass killings, he would have discovered numerous references to earlier crimes, including the 1927 slaughter in Bath Township, Michigan. A citizen, angry about losing a school board election, purchased a hundred pounds of dynamite from his neighborhood hardware store and blew up an elementary school, killing 38 children and 6 adults.

That Michigan tragedy triggered the creation of tough new laws with far reaching licensing requirements controlling who can buy, sell, ship, inventory or use dynamite

But today, without any special licensing requirements, the average wing-nut can walk into his friendly sporting goods store and buy a rapid-fire semi-automatic rifle with high capacity magazines and ammunition to match. Bingo. Maybe another crazy has just equipped himself for another mass killing.

Too many of our children have already died under circumstances similar to that. Enough, already!

Ralph Chambers

Parkersburg

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