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Letter to the editor: Gun control laws won't prevent tragedy

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 12:01 am

I have read with interest Mr. Goldstein’s letter asking for action on more gun control.

He cited the recent stabbings committed by a student in Texas “knife spree.” He postulated that if that “deranged kid” had a gun, imagine what could have happened. This is a very good point.

With that in mind, just how would the present bills being considered in the Senate stop the kid? Let’s see: Magazines of less capacity. No, that won’t work. It only takes a few seconds longer to load two 10-round magazines versus one 20-round magazine.

The NRA has declared that additional mental checks would tend to weed out the unstable or those who want to see their names in the media. Also the addition of trained people “packing a gun” sounds like a more reasonable solution to me, but I’m trying to think logically.

Goldstein also mentions additional background checks. That wouldn’t have worked in the Connecticut shootings since the shooter was using his mother’s guns, after first killing her.

Goldstein also brings up the worn cliche that the National Guard is the militia. That is incorrect. The National Guard didn’t exist when the Second Amendment was passed. .In fact, In Madison’s 46th Federalist paper (Jan. 29, 1788) he uses the argument to convince his fellow Constitutionalists to approve it by talking about the militia (civilians under arms) as a deterrent against a usurp of powers by the states or federal government. The present state National Guard can be brought under federal control upon direction by the president of the United States. The National Guard does not meet the criteria that Madison established.

To conclude, according to the latest polls among average Americans, 57 percent say additional gun control laws would not prevent another tragedy. Granted, if a poll were taken among people that don’t know that magazines are reloadable (a Congress representative showed her ignorance in that), I’m sure the poll would show that 90 percent would favor stricter gun laws.

As a retired engineer, I was taught to think rationally. The present bills and their amendments in the Senate will not solve the problem of mentally deranged “copycat killers” cowardly killing in a “gun-free zone.”

Wayne A. Doenges

New Haven