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Drop hyperbole on guns, have a serious discussion

A reader recently wrote in to suggest in jest that, in light of the recent tragedy in Boston, President Obama should ban all marathons, and that Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts should restrict the size of pressure cookers. While I appreciate the attempt at irony in light of this nation’s ongoing debate on gun control measures, the analogy is faulty.

In the case of firearms, no one is looking to take weapons away from law-abiding gun owners. Rather, it is an issue of regulation. Our government has a right and duty to place reasonable restrictions on gun ownership. We may disagree on the nature of the restrictions. But let’s not give in to the temptation to overblown, false analogy.

As in the case of marathon races, the government must set restrictions as to time, place and manner. A group of runners cannot just show up on Main Street at a random hour and begin a race down the middle of the street. That would endanger the public and the runners. Likewise, governmental agencies do place safety restrictions on the design, manufacture and types of safety warnings affixed to appliances such as pressure cookers.

Let’s drop the hyperbole, and start a serious discussion on responsible restrictions that preserve constitutional rights to gun ownership.

Michael Lancer

West Seneca