Our View: Gun control making more sense to Americans

The Daily Advance

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Americans can hardly be categorized as typically this or typically that, but qualities like ambitious, hard-working and freedom-loving would be frequently used descriptions. Similarly, most Americans have acquired the understanding that protecting our valued freedoms requires responsibility and reasonable compromise.

Our democratic institutions are products of this principle. With the rancor and divisiveness so prevalent in our legislative bodies today, it’s easy to forget how well representative government has worked for most of our 225-year history. Often slowly, sometimes painfully, public-backed legislation has moved Americans progressively forward where our rights and privileges are protected within the desired framework of commonsense laws. Along the way, history is pockmarked with illustrations of the battles fought and won — slavery and civil rights among the major ones — to keep Americans on this progressive path.

Just as other difficult chasms have divided Americans in the past, we are facing yet another challenge now, a tipping point that has to be faced and resolved. Gun control is an issue that Americans eventually must resolve in a manner consistent with our collective common sense and vision.

Today, however, it is not resolved. And the price of it not being resolved was once again, vividly and horribly illustrated last month at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The deaths of 20 elementary school children along with six teachers and staff at the hands of a mentally-deranged man with access to assault-type, automatic weapons is a benchmark — as if other mass killings in other venues had not already proven the point — that the time has come. It’s in everyone’s interest that America do a better job of controlling the dispensing of these weapons that guarantee such massive killing power and human suffering.

As it turns out, the public already broadly endorses that objective, according to research and many national polls. In a recent poll, for instance, the public’s sentiments demonstrate once again the desire for a sane approach to gun control. That poll, by The Associated Press and GfK, the international data research and analysis firm, reports an overwhelming 84 percent of Americans support stringent background checks for potential gun-owners. In addition, the poll shows six in 10 Americans support stricter gun laws, and a majority backs a nationwide ban on military-style weapons.

These responses certainly reflect Americans’ reaction to tragedies like Sandy Hook. They, go deeper, however, revealing Americans’ perception of who we are as a nation and what our priorities should be. The great majority of Americans don’t want this country armed to the teeth with the latest assault weapons that can inflict incredible pain, massive death and carnage. Gun-toting and aggressive are not words most Americans would use to describe themselves. They’re also not words Americans use to describe the nation’s character. Unfortunately, that’s exactly who we are in the eyes of many nations, and, in fact, some Americans like it that way. But it’s not the way of the future.

Last week, President Barack Obama announced plans aimed at gaining control over the spread of guns and gun violence, including the key provisions for universal background checks on potential gun-buyers and a ban on assault weapons. Other provisions include limiting the number of bullets that can be carried in ammunition clips to under 10 — a minor restriction, but one that can save lives simply by preventing continuous firing.

Congress must now get down to the work of creating legislation around these objectives. That’s where the contentious views for and against gun control will engage on the political battlefield. Of course, both sides must be heard, but the matter of whether Congress adopts steps to curb gun violence should be — and eventually will be decided — by average Americans. We would urge citizens to tell Congress to adopt some form of Obama’s plans for gun control.

The consensus among Americans is that unchecked availability of automatic, assault-type weapons is a contributor to the horrors such as that seen last month. Most Americans already believe these weapons harm our national image and threaten our safety and our future.

Background checks by the weapons-buying public is a wise and reasonable expectation. Law-abiding citizens who want guns for their personal protection, hobby, sport or as collectors should have them. Our officials must act — not to remove the right of gun-ownership — but to remove the harmful applications of gun ownership. That’s just common sense.

Comments

I think as long as the people

I think as long as the people owning the guns have undergone psychological tests before getting one, then gun ownership shouldn't be a problem. There are biometric gun safes to keep them away from kids and other people in the family that shouldn't be using them, as long as you are a responsible owner I don't see gun ownership would be a problem.

The Gun Thing...

First, several commentors have given clear illustrations of the uselessness of the "gun laws" that were in effect at the time of the recent tagedies. The obvious conclusion of any logical reasoning process is that any law is of no concern to those who intend to violate the law. However, the prohibition of law abiding citizens to possess such weapons may have contributed to the number of victims. Second, the designers of the Constitution considered it to be a natural law that every citizen had the right to protect their lives and property. As James Madison discussed at length in Federalist Paper 47, the right to bear arms was addressed as a deterrent to the ambitions of an overreaching federal government. He also noted the uniqueness of the American people to possess such a right. Editorial policy prohibits a truly representative documentation of these views.

Wow! That must be some goooood NRA coolaid!

Can anyone please offer an original thought instead of simply parroting the pre-packaged NRA and Fox entertainment sound-bites? Can anyone please tell me why every respondent has conveniently overlooked the phrase, "WELL-REGULATED," that is so PROMINENTLY included in the 2nd Amendment? Can anyone please tell me why we should NOT stop criminals and the insane from getting guns anyway and every way that we can? And then tell me why that's a good idea? Am I the only one that thinks that Wayne LaPierre is really paid more-than-a-million-dollars a year to UNDERMINE THE 2ND AMENDMENT rather than supporting it wholly as written, including "well-regulated?" Can any of you do this? In your own words, please? Respectfully Submitted, Force 12

2nd Amendment

Utah Sheriff’s Association Sends Letter to Obama As They Vow To Uphold 2nd Amendment! http://rightpunditry.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/utah-sheriffs-association-sends-letter-to-obama-as-they-vow-to-uphold-2nd-amendment/

Goodman and Gun Control

Leftists like Goodman will never stop. They won't be happy until there's total confiscation of all privately-owned guns.

PATRICK HENRY

We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. - Patrick Henry

REAL NC PATRIOTS

The Tenth Amendment Center reports that Beaufort County, NC becomes the first in the nation to pass a Gun Law Nullification Resolution. Today, Beaufort County, North Carolina became the first in the country to do so. The board of commissioners passed a nullification resolution in support of the 2nd Amendment. The vote was unanimous. The resolution reads, in part: The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners calls upon the Governor and General Assembly of the State of North Carolina to immediately pass an act to nullify the implementation within the State of North Carolina of any Federal law, executive order or regulations restricting the right to keep and bear arms I AM PROUD OF BEAUFORT COUNTY,NC BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS! THESE PEOPLE ARE REAL PATRIOTS AND ARE NOT KISSING KING OBAMAS RING!!!

"the poll shows six in 10

"the poll shows six in 10 Americans support stricter gun laws, and a majority backs a nationwide ban on military-style weapons." I'd be willing to bet that a majority can not tell you what a military-style weapon is. Similarly, the average American doesn't know what an automatic or semi-automatic weapon is. Polling people that don't know what they're being polled about seems to be pointless. "The consensus among Americans is that unchecked availability of automatic, assault-type weapons" Automatic, assault-type weapons are already illegal. Nothing President Obama proposed would have stopped Adam Lanza. He stole the weapons he used. Connecticut has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the country and Adam's mother purchased the guns legally. Over 95 percent of homicides by gun in this country are committed using handguns. Where is the outrage over the 492 children shot in Chicago last year. (By the way, Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country). Most of the Chicago shootings were with illegal guns. Stolen or purchased illegally. Any use of a gun to commit a crime should result in a minimum prison sentence of 10 years. That's a law that would be effective.

COMMON SENSE

We would urge citizens to tell Congress to adopt some form of Obama’s plans for gun control???? Mexican children murdered by guns from Obama's "Fast and Furious" program Since the Left decided to politicize the Sandy Hook school shooting; perhaps they would like to address Obama's "fast and furious" program? Since we are talking about gun violence and gun control; perhaps the Left should recognize how guns from Obama's "fast and furious" program has resulted in the murders of Mexican school children?“There’s only one group of guns in America that Barack Obama should be working to take off the streets and they are the Fast and Furious Gunwalker scandal guns that his administration used multiple federal agencies to buy for Mexican gangs,” said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC. “Obama’s Fast and Furious assault rifles are currently pointed at American citizens and law enforcement that would dare to stand against the importation of addictive drugs and illegal aliens.” When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson The majority of Democrats are hell bent starting another civil war! We need assault weapons so we the people can defend ourselves. I pray to God that law enforcement and the military will side with we the people if Obama decides to over throw the US Constitution!

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