Stricter gun laws not the answer


The echo from the gunshots that tragically took the lives of nine people at a community college in Roseburg, Ore., had barely faded before President Barack Obama stood behind a podium and made a pitch for “common sense” gun control laws.

“Allowing shootings is a political choice we make,” Obama said. Some would say that politicizing a horrible tragedy to promote his gun control agenda is a choice the president is making as he takes a tip from the playbook of his old pal Emanuel.

In Obama’s world, common sense gun laws generally mean putting more regulations on good citizens who possess firearms for hunting, recreational shooting and to protect home and family.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment conveys an individual right to possess firearms.

We believe there is hardly a more basic human right than the common law right to defend one’s self and one’s family.

While the president contends that states that regulate guns more have the least violence, the absurdity of this contention is revealed by the sheer volume of gun violence in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, which has some of the nation’s strictest gun laws.

While all violent deaths are equally tragic, don’t hold your breath waiting for Obama to address this mostly black-on-black carnage because it contradicts his narrative. Does his silence reflect a political choice he is making?

Since Congress is unlikely to oblige the president by inflicting more gun laws on honest citizens, there are important steps to reduce mass shootings that would actually work and would enjoy widespread support.

One common denominator we see in many of these events are mentally ill individuals. In too many instances, there were warning signs that were ignored by friends, family, neighbors and mental health professional before tragedy struck.

There must be more effort made to identify these individuals and intervene with them.

Most states now have laws on the books imposing on citizens the obligation to report suspected child abuse.

Why not enact laws imposing similar obligations on citizens and mental health professionals if they had reason to believe violence by some troubled individuals was a possibility?

Another common denominator in these mass shootings is that most of them have occurred in gun-free zones such as schools, theaters and even in military recruitment centers as happened in Chattanooga, Tenn.

It is long past time to examine this whole concept. It is insanity for a killer to be the only armed person in a school until the police arrive.

Finally, there is currently in place a system of background checks established by law to prevent convicted felons from purchasing firearms.

The system is working. Thousands of individuals who are not permitted to possess firearms have been turned away.

The dirty little secret, however, is that only a small percentage are prosecuted. This is insane. Let’s enforce this law as a deterrent to illegal possession.

The aforementioned steps would not infringe on our Second Amendment rights while having the added advantage of actually addressing a serious problem in a common sense way.

The Bowling Green Daily News

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