2013-03-21 / Opinion


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In response to Warren

In response to Warren Robert's "Getting the ‘Gun Control Foot in the Door’": Mr Robert's, a regular voice in the 'letters' section, might benefit from taking a lesson from the failed Mitt Romney Campaign Playbook and place a higher priority on fact-checking. It is amazing to me in this technical age, that folks like Mr. Roberts will spout misleading information in a public arena, yet ignore the ability of the great majority of this paper's readership to use an Internet Search Engine. Google 'Australian Gun Laws' for yourself and you will not have to read for long to see that private ownership and the use of firearms for legitimate, recreational uses are alive and well in that country. Yes, they are much more restrictive and require licensing and registration, but law-abiding citizens of Australia can still hunt with the same types of firearms that Pennsylvanians have considered legitimate hunting tools for decades. There have, of course, been some mistakes made by other countries, which the United States should endeavor to learn from as we consider changes to our own regulations, but certainly not dismiss entirely. Especially considering the MASSIVE reductions in suicides, mass murders and violent crimes that our brothers and sisters 'Down Under' now enjoy thanks to changes in firearm regulations! And they are certainly not alone: Murder rate per 100,000: (2011) U.S. 5.22 U.K. 1.19 Germany 0.8 Italy 1.16 Denmark 1.4 Canada 1.16 Austria 0.58 France 1.35 Iceland 0.0 The Netherlands 1.0 New Zealand 1.25 We have a problem, and as anyone even remotely familiar with successful 12-step programs knows, the first step is admitting that and to quit living in denial. Only then is a solution possible. I am an avid hunter and sport shooter, and I (like the MAJORITY of Americans, as shown in recent surveys) welcome sensible approaches to reducing gun violence, all of them: mental health, education, increased school security and comprehensive laws that help keep weapons with massive killing capacity out of the hands of bad people. The 'slippery slope' rhetoric that is so commonly spouted is no substitute for the most fundamental of principles that this great country was ACTUALLY founded on, "Majority Rule." Did we lose all of our guns when full-auto machine guns were restricted and banned? Do we suffer from not being able to use them for hunting? So much for the 'foot in the door'/’slippery slope’ theory. Remember, 'Amendments' were/are fixes to our Constitution and will, just like the original document, need fixing themselves from time to time. Our Founding Father's intentions could not possibly have considered the state of firearm's technology and gun violence that we face today. Do those with distorted views of the Second Amendment, desperately trying to tie it to the protection of the First Amendment, give a rat's hindquarters about the integrity of the Third Amendment? I’ll bet you just had to 'Google' that! -Joe Marlin

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