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Letter to the Editor

Gun control debate  

Ellen Portnoy gives a number of reasons why she writes favoring gun control — Sept. 10, 2015.  The first is the understandable emotional grief reaction to the senseless violence inflicted on her friends;  criminal  acts for which there is no excuse.  However, emotional reaction is a poor foundation for policy decisions.

Her second argument is counter intuitive. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}She relates her experience in Israel where armed citizens are ubiquitous yet there is essentially no armed criminal violence.  This should not be confused with terrorist attacks.  Whereas, here there are many guns and there is excessive criminal violence.  The differentiating factor is the individual.

She misinterprets “militia”.  In the United States the militia brought their own weapons to the fight.  The right to keep and bear arms enables the citizens to protect themselves from criminals, a G_d given right to preserve life.  The Founders knew from personal experience that they must also be able to  protect themselves from a tyrannical government, if necessary.

The common denominator in “gun” violence is a violent person.  No gun sitting on a shelf has ever fired at anyone.  Baseball bats, hands, ropes, knives and poison gas, among others, must be manipulated by a person or persons bent on violence toward others.  The guns in recent cases were illegal under current law.  Criminals always ignore the law, so tougher laws do not concern them.

Finally, there is the NRA talking point.  In fact, the NRA vigorously supports the 2nd Amendment right to personal gun ownership.  They are maligned for this.  Why?  NRA critics reject the promotion of legal gun use, firearm safety courses and youth programs available and encouraged by the NRA.  Ms. Portnoy will never find that the NRA condones gun violence or criminal activity.{/mprestriction}