Com­pro­mise on gun con­trol

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - GE­ORGE T. ANAGNOS Point Pleas­ant, New Jer­sey

Con­trary to those who ar­gue that gun con­trol should not be the fo­cus of the Or­lando night­club shoot­ings, I be­lieve that gun con­trol is the over­rid­ing is­sue at play. We clearly have too much of it.

The right to keep arms is well pro­tected, but the right to bear arms at most of the places at which these mass shoot­ings have been per­pe­trated is al­most nonex­is­tent. With 350 mil­lion guns (in­clud­ing 10 mil­lion as­sault-type ri­fles) al­ready owned by Amer­i­cans, any half-com­pe­tent bad per­son can read­ily get one. With­out a crim­i­nal record, he or she can legally buy one or use a straw buyer or the black mar­ket. The ter­ror­ists at Fort Hood, San Bernardino, Gar­land and Or­lando, along with the wackos at Aurora, Vir­ginia Tech, New­town and Charleston, all prove this re­al­ity.

We can and should de­stroy the Is­lamic State and its in­spi­ra­tion for home­grown and world­wide ter­ror­ism. This will def­i­nitely help make the world safer. But we will still have plenty of other cra­zies who will be in­clined to kill lots of peo­ple. Let us make a use­ful com­pro­mise with those who fa­vor more gun con­trol. We can agree to add back­ground checks at gun shows, ban the sale of as­sault ri­fles again and re­strict those on FBI watch lists from mak­ing unau­tho­rized pur­chases. At the same time, we should agree to pro­tect the full right of all re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zens to bear arms at most places.

We should not be putting some­one like for­mer foot­ball star Plaxico Bur­ress in jail af­ter he ac­ci­den­tally shot his own thigh at a night­club while hold­ing an ex­pired, out-of­s­tate, con­cealed-carry li­cense. It is true that there will be some avoid­able lethal con­flicts when more peo­ple can freely carry their legally owned guns, but there will be far fewer and more lim­ited mass killings, whether per­pe­trated by ter­ror­ists or by lu­natics, when there are more peo­ple present who can shoot back.

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