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Proposed laws don’t conflict with gun rights – if handled right

A couple of proposals that have arisen out of the dialogue concerning gun controls have considerable merit. Those are the expansion of background checks for those purchasing guns, and penalties for those who don’t take steps to control access to their guns.

Even as one who supports Second Amendment rights, I think more extensive background checks and penalties for those who don’t take measures to safeguard their guns are in order.

Unfortunately, as with many good ideas, the devil is in the details. Anyone who has ever looked at their own credit report can probably attest to how flawed it can be. When there is an error, it is up to the individual to try to correct it. Those trying to secure a home loan or a car loan who get turned down because of something in their credit report that is in error are usually left to their own devices to try to expunge the mistake.

If the ability to exercise an individual’s Second Amendment rights is delayed or denied because of a flawed background check, that would be unacceptable. The resources necessary to ensure that background checks are done accurately and in a timely manner must be funded along with any change to the requirement to purchase a gun.

The onus for making corrections should be on the agency doing the background check and not on the would-be purchaser.

Similarly, laws made to hold gun owners accountable for the security of their weapons would need to be carefully crafted so as not to punish the victims of burglary and theft.


State lawmakers deserve praise for opposing canned hunting

Representatives of the undersigned sporting and conservation organizations thank Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long for his recent public stand decrying canned hunting. His comments on shooting domestic deer in enclosures expose the unethical practices that occur behind hunting preserve fences – practices that preserve owners call “hunting.”

Long’s comments couldn’t have come at a better time. The Indiana House of Representatives is currently considering Senate Bill 487, which contains an amendment aimed at legalizing canned hunting in Indiana.

Rep. Matt Ubelhor, R-Bloomfield, presented the amendment to the House Committee on Natural Resources on April 1. Despite vigorous public testimony in opposition, the committee voted to accept the amendment. Reps. Lloyd Arnold and Tom Saunders voted against the amendment, citing their constituents’ negative feelings for canned hunting. We commend their commitment to their constituency.

The bill came to the house floor April 2. Long announced his opposition April 4. The same day, representatives of our sporting and conservation organizations voiced unified opposition to the bill. Each of us spoke of concerns held by our members: Disease that threatens Indiana’s wild deer herd, commercialization and exploitation of wildlife, and the unethical practice of shooting deer in enclosures. We reiterated that more than 80 percent of Hoosiers oppose canned hunting.

We urge the Indiana House of Representatives to kill Senate Bill 487. Again, we thank Sen. Long for his stand.

STEVE CECIL Indiana Wildlife Federation DOUG ALLMAN Indiana Deer Hunters JIM SWEENEY Izaak Walton League of America DON GORNEY Amos Butler Audubon TOM JAMES Quality Deer Management Association DARREN REED Indiana Conservation Officers’ Organization

Thanks for being a nanny state

Welcome to a state where the legislature is considering making stiffer penalties for marijuana possession when the rest of the nation is waking up and relaxing the laws on it. Welcome to the only state where you cannot buy beer on Sunday, and welcome to a city that refuses the notion of allowing a casino but has no problem selling Hoosier lotto tickets with odds that rip people off far worse than a casino ever could.

I am happy that I live in a state and city that knows what’s best for me.