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Country must achieve a balance on weapons

It would be refreshing, but surprising, if the opposition to new gun control regulation would stick to the facts. Since these facts include increasingly horrific mass shootings, often involving assault weapons, one might understand their reluctance to do so. Their arguments against bans on assault weapons and related items apparently boil down to two: they’ve been tried and don’t work; and they’d allow the government to repress the population at will.

The first of these is an erroneous opinion, since national assault weapons bans have never been in place for sufficient time to have the desired impact. The second is a red herring, relying on past events in other countries (almost always Germany and the USSR) which at the time did not have our long democratic tradition. It is essential that we achieve a balance. Is protection against a theoretical (and highly improbable) risk a sufficient counterweight to events such as occurred most recently in Tucson, Aurora, Webster and Sandy Hook? The gun lobby would have us believe that these massacres, and those that preceded them, are the acceptable costs of their unrestricted Second Amendment rights. Really?

Kenneth Blumenthal

Buffalo