Yet another writer defends uncontrolled access to guns in America (letter, 5-9), reiterating the argument that we should “put the bad guy in jail” instead of making new laws that would put “good people” in jail.
I presume he means those good people jailed for selling guns without vetting the purchaser. Gun owners should be able to sell guns to anyone they please without being encumbered by concerns that the purchaser is a raving lunatic bent on visiting death upon, say, kids in the local elementary school.
This is absurd. The writer and the NRA rant about enforcing existing laws (about, say, who can legally possess a firearm) while simultaneously making enforcement impossible (by insisting individuals should be able to sell guns to anyone with the cash or crazy old Uncle Joe).
We cannot put gun owners or show sponsors in the position of inventing and enforcing laws. Anyone who sells a gun should be responsible for National Instant Criminal Background Check System vetting; if an unvetted purchaser uses the weapon to commit a crime, the seller should be held responsible as an accessory.
Others argue that gun owners “protect us from our government” or that the Second Amendment is absolute. To the first: The vast majority prefers to leave the protection of our government to the agreed-upon system of law and justice, not a bunch of self-appointed, gun-slinging vigilantes. To the second: Even the right to free speech is not absolute, and surely guns can kill more quickly than the most vitriolic speech.