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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:00 am


No reason to oppose sensible restrictions

There is a tired old axiom used by the gun rights crowd: “Guns don't kill, people do!” One of the reasons that slogan has stuck around is that there is a ring of truth to it. But what guns do accomplish is what they were manufactured for – to shoot things with a deadly projectile. And there are hundreds of different designs to meet that intended goal.

I am so inspired by the teens who survived the Parkland, Florida, shooting. I wanted to co-opt their slogan, “Enough is enough!” The most critical change is one that was in force for 10 years until it was allowed to expire. Also, banning sale of assault-style weapons, bump stocks and large-capacity ammunition magazines. Guns such as the AR-15 are not used for hunting. They are not suitable for home protection either. What purpose do they serve? Just one, being efficient weapons of war. As an adult, I know the difference between a want and a need. You might want an assault rifle because they look cool. But you honestly do not need it. And like Australia did, we can easily offer a buyback program for any of the banned weapons then melt them down.

There are other common-sense regulations that can be put into place. First off, closing the non-licensed gun seller loopholes and requiring universal background checks, coordinating military and civilian criminal records into the background data base, waiting periods on any firearm purchase, and age restrictions on purchasing certain types of weapons.

I am not calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. But one court after another has ruled that states and the federal government have a compelling interest in regulating the gun market. Hundreds of people have died in mass shootings since the lifting of the federal assault weapons ban. It is well past time to revive that bill and save lives.

Campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association, various gun lobbies and PACs have corrupted countless politicians. And it's time to wrest control from them back to the people who always seem to be in the line of fire. Call me a snowflake or any other name you can hurl at me. I am sick of watching the senseless slaughter of innocent lives made more efficient using military-grade weaponry.

Jay A. Wax

Fort Wayne

Ulterior motive?

I always marvel when I listen to our local (and sometimes national) newspeople report on a drug bust. They always mention the fact that guns were found during the raid. Why? While the drugs may be illegal, the guns certainly aren't. It makes me wonder.

Jackie Johnston

Fort Wayne

Less bullying could lessen shooters' frustrations

Recent events about school shootings have captured my attention. One of the most-covered topics is the angry students in Florida who are understandably upset and I don't blame them.

The nation is looking for solutions; the students are protesting; parents are upset. They plan marches and meetings with the president. That's all good, but perhaps the students and people alike can effect a change if they really want to make a difference.

One of the most effective things that can be done right now is to stop bullying on social media. They should shut down all forms of negativity and shut down the people doing this. They should  point out people who are doing this and quit doing it themselves.

We might even accomplish a few things from doing this, such as:

1. Lowering the suicide rate

2. Making young people feel worthwhile (not bullied)

3. Shutting down notoriety for bad apples and

4. Perhaps stopping some of these senseless shootings.

The person you bully and intimidate today may be the person who is a killer tomorrow.