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Common-sense rules can reduce gun deaths

One argument that gun proponents often cite is the fact that more deaths are caused by automobiles each year than are caused by firearms. Most people reject this idea when they are reminded that automobiles are not designed to kill, and that is precisely what guns are made for. Upon some reflection, one should realize that a person must take instruction and pass a road test in order to get a license that must be renewed periodically. The car you drive must be registered and inspected every year. The government requires manufacturers to provide seat belts, air bags and a host of safety items. Although one might construe these regulations to be an infringement on personal liberties, virtually no one opposes them because car deaths have been reduced drastically over the years.

It seems to me that this same approach to gun control is a rational and reasonable procedure. No one is suggesting elimination of the Second Amendment, but holding this amendment so sacrosanct that it denies any reinterpreting in light of present-day realities make no sense. The National Rifle Association and the gun fanatics it represents claim that no change will prevent future carnage, and of course they are right. Despite laws, rules and regulations, cars still kill, but at least we’re making progress. Just because there will undoubtedly be more horrific events in the future is not a reason for doing nothing. Periodic renewal of licenses and gun permits seems to be a simple way to get a handle on this difficult situation.

Henry N. Stahl Jr.

Amherst