Legislators: Gun law changes needed, but tread lightly

The state of Minnesota needs to update its gun laws – no one can disagree with that.

Gun rights advocates are worried about the prospect of the government taking their guns away, taking their rights away. We don’t want that. In fact, we shudder at the thought of that happening.

But the line between “taking” your guns away and changing some of our laws isn’t exactly a fine one.

Legislation that will be discussed during the 2013 session needs to focus on reshaping laws that have become antiquated in today’s society. For starters, our elected officials need to take a long look at background checks.

But it’s more than that.

They need to turn over as many stones as they can to uncover any current laws or procedures that might not be cutting it anymore – let’s face it, we live in a different society today than we did 20 years ago – while making sure they don’t infringe on our right to keep and bear arms.

Therein lies the trick: Our leaders must avoid antagonizing and patronizing gun owners who are legitimately and rightfully concerned about their Second Amendment rights. And gun owners must trust them and give them time to vet our current laws and make changes where they are needed most.

It’s a two-way street.

Let’s be patient, gun owners out there, and let’s trust those at the Capitol have the state’s best interests in mind when it comes to curbing gun violence.

To say this is an important issue would be a shocking understatement, but change won’t happen overnight and we don’t need to muddy the waters with politics, paranoia and personal agendas.