Letter To The Editor: It’s The Guns

By NINA THAYER
Los Alamos Resident
 
There is a simple explanation for the death’s of eight students and two teachers last Friday in Santa Fe, Texas. It’s the guns. David Frum writes in the Atlantic Monthly Tuesday (5/22/2018), “Americans of high-school age are 82 times more likely to die from a gun homicide than 15- to 19-year-olds in the rest of the developed world.”
 
Why is this? The most straightforward answer is the presence of 270 million guns in the US, more than any country in the world, and a culture that promotes guns as a symbol of status, power and manhood, Guns for sport, guns for hunting and guns for self protection are the right of every American as guaranteed in the Second Amendment. Assault rifles, large ammunition cartridges and automatic weapons are rarely used for sport and unnecessary for hunting or self protection. The right to own such weapons is not guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
 
So why do they continue to be easily available to every American? Because Congress and the American public have failed to protect our students, our teachers and our citizens by banning these weapons of mass destruction. Yes, the killing of 58 in Las Vegas, NV by one madman in less than 10 minutes is mass destruction. In fact, a 10-year ban on assault weapons and large capacity cartridges was passed by the US Senate on Sep. 13, 1994 and expired 10 years later. It worked well against proliferation of these weapons for ten years. It is needed again.
 
So who gets to have AR-15’s? Do the police need them? Absolutely not! Do the National Guard? I can think of no reasonable scenario for which assault weapons with large capacity cartridges carried by National Guardsmen would change the outcome of a homeland confrontation for the better. These are weapons of war and must be available for use only in war.
 
Tell your Congressmen and women, tell your Governor, tell your friends and tell your community we do not need and do not want assault weapons in the hands of our citizens, our police or our National Guard. My life, your life and our children’s lives depend on it.
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