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By Gene Grabiner, et al.

Having 192 years of combined experience shooting handguns and long guns, we are fed up with the National Rifle Association. Are you?

New York’s SAFE Act has generated passionate opposition from gun owners, local legislatures, law enforcement and gun rights groups. But the NRA has been the prime mover behind this opposition.

We have seen the role of the NRA change from the promotion of civilian rifle practice and gun safety training to becoming just a shill for the gun makers, pushing unrestricted and wholesale arming of our citizens.

Legislation driven by gun technology was absent until the National Firearms Act of 1934 responded to the “tommy gun,” the weapon of choice for organized crime during Prohibition. Fully automatic guns, sawed-off shotguns and rifles, silencers, etc., were effectively banned by this law. Such first-generation gun laws have saved lives.

The SAFE Act is a second-generation attempt to address public safety in the face of technological advances in firepower and lethality due to high-capacity rifles and pistols, designed principally for military and police forces.

While the Second Amendment dominates the rhetoric of many gun rights groups, the less obvious but more decisive players are the gun manufacturers.

Gun industry analysts confirm that their market is saturated with traditional rifles, shotguns and handguns. So, as with any business facing market saturation, the gun makers created new markets for new designs, including increased firepower.

The civilian version of the M-16 assault rifle is a gold mine, offsetting sales declines of traditional firearms. Rommel Dionisio, a financial industry analyst, says that such weapons have “been a primary growth engine and profit driver for firearms companies for the last seven or eight years.”

No civilian firearms, other than high-capacity assault weapons, can fire 154 times in less than 5 minutes, as happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Heaven forbid that preventing mass shooting should take precedence over profit margins.

With 300 million firearms in circulation, gun deaths will continue. Still, while perhaps not perfect, to responsible gun owners the SAFE Act is a positive step toward ending the mass murders and gang killings that have been made possible by the proliferation of high-capacity guns.

We owe support for the SAFE Act to the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School, to our communities and to ourselves.

We reject the propaganda of the NRA and SCOPE and their unyielding position on rational gun control.

This article was jointly written by Gene Grabiner of Buffalo, Joachim Amato and Kent Clulow, both of Orchard Park, and Peter Leyonmark of Hamburg.