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Your Views: Gun laws cant protect us from insane killers
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This is in response to Jim Scharnagel's letter from March 20 about the Second Amendment being meant for militias and not armed civilians.

Sir, I am sorry but your points could not be anything but furthest from the facts. You site Newtown as a reason to ban assault-type weapons. Connecticut has the strictest gun laws in our nation, yet a boy with obvious mental issues took it upon himself to inflict pain on innocent children and people.

Banning these types of weapons is not going to stop a person with the intention to do harm. There are more illegal, under-the-counter sales of assault-type weapons to people who want them than legal sales.

You speak of it being idiotic to allow people to enter into churches, colleges and bars with weapons. But if there were armed people in these facilities, the damages mindless people commit would be limited or eliminated.

Arming teachers would not be to give “untrained teachers” as you put it weapons. They would have to go through training like any law enforcement officers to be authorized to carry a weapon. Making excuses, reasons and laws not to carry weapons in order to defend our nation and its people is the reason that we cannot deter such thing from possibly happening again.

We cannot be everywhere, every time, to stop these atrocities. Name one killer who has committed these types of crimes who was in a right state of mind? Better background checks on people with a history of mental illness, and speaking up that you suspect a person is dangerous, can deter a lot of these things from happening.

The Aurora, Colo., shooter had a history of mental health issues, but people turned a blind eye to him. The Virginia Tech student also had a history of issues. The Newtown killer the same, yet his mother didn’t take necessary steps to lock up the weapons.

Everyone who is against assault weapons in the U.S thinks that by banning them, we will stop or eliminate mass shootings. But a similar ban was in effect, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. It was a study led by Christopher S. Koper released Jan. 14 to the U.S Senate committee that restated the facts. Koper wrote: “In general, we found really, very, very little evidence, almost none, that gun violence was becoming any less lethal or any less injurious during this time frame. So on balance, we concluded that the ban had not had a discernible impact on gun crime during the years it was in effect.”

The issue at hand is better control of the people who are getting these weapons and better security in places we meet in order to slow down such crimes from happening. But to think we can eliminate them altogether would be like looking for the Loch Ness Monster in Lake Lanier.

Thomas Harrington
Gainesville

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