No one will ‘take your guns away’

To the editor:

In Valerie Downing’s letter to the editor, she goes to great length comparing the issue of drunk driving to gun violence in this country and then states: “[Drunk-driving] Offenders of the laws already on the books are tried in court and lose their rights to drive temporarily/permanently and sentenced as by law. The law doesn’t take away the vehicles from all citizens that own or want to purchase a vehicle and had no part in a tragedy/accident. This is why we have laws in place.”

Quite true and accurate. However, we also by current law, require that EVERY motor vehicle owned and operated on the highways of this country be annually registered with the state in which its owner resides (or directly with the federal government in some cases), that said owner carry sufficient insurance to compensate anyone injured or killed by that vehicle, that the vehicle meets certain safety and equipment standards, and motorized vehicles that do not meet those standards can not be sold for use in the USA.

These laws are designed to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from misuse (through carelessness, inexperience, bad judgment, or deliberate act) of motor vehicles.

And that is what is being proposed in the Congress today: Gun safety regulations designed to reduce the number of gun related deaths and injuries. There is nothing in the proposed legislation about the confiscation of firearms. That is a straw man argument used by the lobbyists for gun manufacturers, designed to do one thing: scare law-abiding gun owners into funding their lobbying efforts to protect the manufacturers of weapons designed specifically to kill large numbers of people in a brief amount of time.

“They’re going to take your guns away” is an argument that has been made by gun lobbyists for at least the last 50 years (based on my own experience as a gun owner). In that time period, the Brady Bill was passed, assault weapons and high capacity magazines were (temporarily) banned and gun registration laws were tightened. But confiscation of law-abiding citizens’ guns has not happened as a result (not even assault weapons purchased prior to the enactment of the “ban”).

Finally, Ms Downing claims: “Because of gun control, 56 million people were exterminated” between 1911-1981. No, 56 million people were exterminated because of racial, ethnic and religious bigotry or political extremism, not gun control.

If you are concerned about the U.S. becoming a “police state,” remember what Sinclair Lewis said: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

Paul Bridgland