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GUNS: It’s not as simple as banning firearms

Letter by John Mills, Tacoma on Jan. 11, 2013 at 10:23 am with No Comments »
January 11, 2013 10:23 am

At Taft Union High School in California, a student recently arrived with a shotgun, shot and nearly killed one student before teachers talked him into putting down the weapon. He had a hit list of bullies and pockets full of shells.

Comparing that to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting demonstrates that it’s not the kind of weapon used, but the massacre that is so horrifying. If we can figure how to keep crazies from shooting kids with shotguns, we automatically solve the problem of “assault” rifles. If we just ban “assault” rifles, we’re simply showing concern about the type of gun being used; that’s plain callous.

It is not simply a matter of banning all guns, because in June it was reported that a Tacoma homeowner was inside his home near South 14th and South Madison streets and was confronted by a burglar. The man called 911 to report the break in before grabbing a shotgun and shooting the burglar.

The chilling 2007 story about the Petit family in Chelshire, Conn,. demonstrates that home invasions can have horrific consequences. Accordingly, it would be inhumane to leave that Tacoma homeowner defenseless by taking his shotgun. On the other hand, we certainly have to do something so shotguns don’t end up killing schoolchildren.

Therein lies the dilemma. Talk about “assault” rifles and “high-capacity” magazines is, as we see, irrelevant to the core problem we need to address.

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