MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 22, 2012

Restrict military-style weapons


— We must restrict the sale and manufacture of military-style weapons and high capacity magazines.

Adam Lanza used such weapons in the Newtown, Conn., attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza shot his victims multiple times at close range, causing some of the worst injuries Connecticut’s chief medical examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver II said he had ever seen.

These guns and magazines have been involved in a number of spree attacks including the Aurora, Colo., theater slaughter, the shootings at Virginia Tech and the slayings at Fort Hood, Texas.

We can’t stop evil. We can’t keep disturbed individuals from seeking to carry out atrocities.

We can limit their firepower.

The Second Amendment protects the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. It does not prohibit the regulation of firearms.

Congress regulated weapons through the National Firearms Act in 1934 to limit access to submachine guns used in gangland massacres. The nation restricted gun ownership by certain people through the Gun Control Act of 1968 in response to a series of assassinations. Such laws have survived numerous constitutional challenges.

In 1994, The Federal Assault Weapons Ban restricted the manufacture of military-style semiautomatic weapons for civilian sale. The law also prohibited large capacity magazines for civilians. The assault weapons ban expired in 2004.

It is time to put something similar back in place.

We can hunt without military-style weapons. We can defend our homes and families without them.

No law is perfect. No law can prevent one bent on destruction from acting. But if such regulation will stop one tragedy, if it will reduce the body count, if it will allow one victim to survive an attack, then that small limitation on our gun rights is well worth it.

Congress should enact, and the president sign, a ban on civilian use of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.