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Gun Control Legislation: A Proposal

An NRA member calls for substantive, comprehensive, and immediate changes to our current gun control laws.

To the Editor:

The Sunday before the Sandy Hook slaughter, my family went target shooting. I am an NRA member, a Vice-Chair of the Mercer County Republican Committee, and fully support the calls for substantive, comprehensive, and immediate changes to our current gun control laws.

In shooting circles, there is a clever retort that says gun control is all about hitting your target. The all too facile quips, counterarguments and deflections against effective gun control legislation must now be laid to rest. Full-automatic and semi-automatic firearms are about quickly and effectively engaging and neutralizing multiple targets. Add to the equation high capacity magazines in an active shooter scenario, and the result is carnage.

Does America need another Emmett Till moment, to provide the visual evidence of what multiple high velocity rounds will do to a child’s body?

There are three legitimate reasons for Americans to own firearms: Self Defense, Hunting and Marksmanship. The current vilification of lawful gun owners is counter-productive and misguided: Gun owners, as never before, are receptive to rational gun control legislation proposals. Let’s not lose a unique opportunity for real reform because of ad hominem attacks.

The stated goal of the Obama Administration is to re-instate a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines, while lawful firearms owners are hesitant to support the proposal in part because they fear the confiscation of their legally purchased rifles.

Here’s a compromise: Ban the actions of the rifles, not the rifles per se. This can be accomplished with the mandatory modification of all civilian rifles and smoothbores (shotguns) from their full automatic and semi automatic actions to actions that be only manually cycled (eg. straight-pull bolt action). This is both technologically feasible and a relatively cost effective solution. To avoid past loopholes, there must be no grandfathering of certain firearms. All fully automatic and semi-automatic rifles and smoothbores must be so modified.

If public safety requires we remove fully automatic and semi automatic rifles and smoothbores from civilian possession, we have the choice of outright confiscation, or modification. Under the modification scenario, owners will still get to keep their modified rifles and shotguns for legitimate uses while meeting the public safety requirements, without resorting to very unpopular and highly questionable confiscatory practices. After a transition period to permit for the mandated modifications, full-auto or semi-auto rifles and smoothbores will be prohibited to be manufactured for, owned by, or sold to the civilian sector.

A standing government buy-back program should also be instituted for all individuals who wish to sell their firearms. These programs have proven enormously successful in getting guns off the streets, and have enthusiastic support of law enforcement. The weapons purchased in the buy-back program are then destroyed lest they later resurface in the black market.

The Second Amendment phrase “well regulated” must be neither an empty phrase, nor code language against firearms ownership--but a goal to responsibly preserve an essential right in our Republic, coupled with the knowledge that the lives of our children and our neighbors depend upon real reform of our current arms laws.

Mark Scheibner

Princeton, NJ

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

frank rizzo December 29, 2012 at 04:31 AM
dont worry barney you can blame it on obama. lol
Joe R December 29, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Arrivederci, Barney. Buon Anno Nuovo in Lower Slobovia.
Joe R December 29, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry told the NY Daily News that NRA head Wayne LaPierre was lying when he claimed the country “had a whole lot of school shootings” and “put armed security in every school” during an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press. Palmor told the paper, “We didn’t have a series of school shootings, and they had nothing to do with the issue at hand in the United States.” He also said: “Israeli citizens are not allowed to carry guns unless they are serving in the army or working in security-related jobs that require them to use a weapon.”
Silence Dogood March 10, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Americans don't NEED a reason to own firearms. It's a RIGHT. Do you need a reason for free speech or to be free from unreasonable search and seizure? Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood March 10, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Many folks out there believe that the Second Amendment grants Americans the right to keep and bear arms. This is not the case if you read it properly, as the Supreme Court has done: “… the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be Infringed.” Nowhere in that language is a right conferred. The Right to Self-Defense and to Bear Arms in Self-Defense is today, as it was at the time, a NATURAL right – one that is unalienable as noted in the Declaration. The Second Amendment is not intended to confer rights, but is rather a CONSTRAINT upon Government and others that this natural Right is not to be Infringed upon. This IS the Constitutional test to which most of this misguided legislation should be put, and legislators who are attacking the Constitution in order to advance a political agenda should be impeached. They have sworn an oath to ‘protect and preserve’ the Constitution, not to attack it and infringe upon the natural Rights of citizens. Yes, there can be limits, but not those that infringe. As Antonin Scalia wrote in the SCOTUS majority opinion in Heller vs. DC (page 19, para. c): “The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed. This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf Silence Dogood

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