Letters to the Editor

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GUNS: Congress stands idle while Americans die

Letter by Joseph E. Becker, Tacoma on April 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm | No Comments »
April 22, 2013 2:53 pm

On 9/11, nearly 3,000 people died. As a result, our government launched two wars at a cost, according to a Harvard study, of $4 trillion to $6 trillion. In 2012, approximately 32,000 Americans died from gun violence. As a result of those deaths, our government has done nothing.

After the 9/11 deaths, Congress passed major legislation which, according to critics, undermines the Bill of Rights and legally allows governmental intrusion into citizens’ privacy. Congress also created Homeland Security, which daily affects thousands of Americans.

After the 2012 gun deaths, Congress cannot even pass a law requiring gun purchaser background checks (a step favored by almost 90 percent of Americans), let alone ban assault weapons. The reason: a belief that even such modest measures restrict the freedom to own weapons given under the Second Amendment. However, if these measures are unconstitutional, why are background checks required by federally licensed gun dealers and why is it illegal to own a rocket launcher?

There are many reasonable constitutional gun-control policies. As reported by Fox News, even Justice Antonin Scalia, definitely not a liberal firebrand, said that the Second Amendment is “not unlimited” and is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Meanwhile, another 600 Americans will lose their lives this week from gun violence, while Congress sits idle ignoring the American majority opinion. And next week, another 600 Americans will die, and the week of after that another 600, and the week after that . . .

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