PHOENIX - Each Sunday, ABC15.com debuts an Arizona issue - along with two opposing sides on the topic.
Don’t worry, you always have the opportunity to make comments at the bottom of the page. Yeah, your opinion matters, too.
This week we’re tackling the debate on whether or not we need tougher gun control laws, including a ban on assault weapons, especially after the massacre at a Colorado movie theater last month.
Ladd Everitt with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence says under a ban, the shooting suspect would not have legally been allowed to purchase the assault rifle he used.
Charles Heller with the Arizona Citizens Defense League says passing a law to make you feel good is called a placebo. He says it’s an emotional sugar pill to fool you.
Click “next page” to read the first of two positions, “ Law like that would be a placebo”.
“Law like that would be a placebo”: By Charles Heller with the Arizona Citizens Defense League
The 1934 Gun Control Act already regulates assault weapons. Owning them requires a $200 tax, a background check, fingerprints, and the permission of the chief law enforcement of one’s city or county. You can read it for yourself at 26 U.S.C. ch. 53.
Semi-automatic guns, no matter what they look like, work just like your grandfather’s hunting rifle or shotgum. They are today’s “sport-utility rifles.” Millions are owned by average, every day citizens of our great country. They are used for hunting, target shooting, competition, and home defense. Here is video of people in the LA riots doing just that: http://bit.ly/OxoQT3
Semi-auto rifles are rarely used in crime, per the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.
Would banning them affect crime? No, criminals have a tendency not to obey such restrictions – that is why they are called criminals. Only law abiding people, like the ones who left their self-defense tools at home while watching a movie in Colorado last week, obey such vitim disarmaming laws.
It is irrational to believe that such violent events can be prevented in America. We are a free and open society, and in such societies, people are free to misbehave. That is why it is so important that we raise children to be responsible citizens. Part of that responsibility should include basic marksmanship and firearm safety training for every child lawfully present in the country. You can find out where to do that at www.trainmeaz.com . You can also participate in your rights with organizations like The Arizona Citizens Defense League.
Would you like to reduce future carnage? Have each movie theater and similar venue, offer a free ticket to the first three people who present a training credential from a recognized facility (for instance Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona) and a CCW permit, or a military ID and a CCW permit, or a law enforcement credential. Make sure that theaters and malls, and schools, are seeded with law abiding, trained marksmen, and see what happens to the next attempted mass murderer.
Oh and for those of you screaming “cross fire, blood in the streets!,” why is it that we never hear of that happening in America? Let me tell you what does happen: when violent people met armed resistance, they stop the violence or they get stopped! Just ask Jeanne Assam, of near-by Arvada Colorado. She stopped an assassin who was using an identical rifle, in comparable circumstances in 2007, by using her handgun.
Passing a law to make you feel good, is called a placebo. It’s an emotional sugar pill, to fool you into thinking that something has been done, in place of a real result. Using appropriate, LAWFUL deadly force against violent criminal actors, is a solution that has worked every time it was employed. Placebo, or life saving deadly force? The readers are smart enough to make that choice.
Do you agree with this opinion? Add a comment below to sound off.
Click "next page" to read the second position, "Ban could've prevented the shooter from buying his assault rifle"
"Ban could've prevented the shooter from buying his assault rifle": By Ladd Everitt with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
On July 20, 2012, James Holmes, outfitted in a gas mask, body armor, and a tactical helmet, carried two handguns, a shotgun, and an AR-15 assault rifle with a 100-round drum magazine into a crowded screening of The Dark Knight Rises. He threw gas canisters to disorient his victims and opened fire, killing 12 and wounding 58 others in a span of two minutes. If his ammunition magazine had not jammed during the shooting spree, there is no telling how many more people in the movie theater that night would have been killed or injured. Holmes had also rigged his apartment with explosives.
It is clear that James Holmes had been planning this massacre for some time. Prior to the attack, Holmes sent a notebook detailing the massacre to a psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, at the University of Colorado, where he had been attending a graduate neuroscience program. In June, Holmes had applied to join a gun range but was rejected because the range’s operator was disturbed by the “weird and bizarre” message on Holmes’ outgoing voicemail. After the Friday morning attack, Holmes told police officers that he was the Joker, a villain from the Batman comic books and movies. Police recovered a batman poster and mask from Holmes’ apartment. It has recently been reported that Holmes was seeing Dr. Fenton, a psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia, during the weeks prior to the shooting. In time, we may discover new and disturbing revelations about Holmes’ mental health.
Sadly, there is nothing novel about this tragedy. It is yet another massacre perpetuated by a homicidal maniac who was given easy access to lethal, military-style firepower.
We don’t have to accept the wanton gun violence that continues to destroy our communities and families. We must demand that our legislators stand up to the extremist leadership of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and enact common-sense legislation to ensure the thorough screening of gun buyers. We must strengthen the prohibitions on the purchase of firearms by dangerously mentally ill individuals and ensure that states are reporting disqualifying mental health records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Through unregulated private firearm sales, gun purchasers in many states may avoid undergoing a background check entirely, making it all too easy for convicted felons and other prohibited purchasers to obtain guns. In addition, we must not allow individuals to obtain high-capacity ammunition magazines that enable killers to gun down dozens of our fellow citizens in mere seconds. Finally, we must reinstate the federal Assault Weapons Ban which was allowed to expire in 2004. Under the ban, James Holmes would not have legally been allowed to purchase the AR-15 assault rifle and 100-round magazine he used in the Aurora massacre. It is long past overdue for our elected officials, both in the U.S. Congress and our state legislatures, to prioritize public safety over gun industry profits.
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