The Dec. 22 editorial “Post-Newtown reaction should involve more than guns” sounds like a regurgitation of the NRA response to the Newtown massacre: More guns will solve gun violence. Let’s just throw a little gasoline on the fire and see how well that works out.

In Israel, there is strict regulation of gun ownership to the degree that applicants for a gun owner’s license are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm and must be 27 yrs old. There are limits on quantity and type of weapon and ammo as well as regulations regarding the safe storage of both. Gun ownership in Israel is seen as a privilege and not a right.

It would seem strict gun control correlates to gun violence numbers. When compared worldwide, the U.S. ranked first in number of privately owned guns. Israel ranked 81st. Israel’s 2009 death by firearm rate was 1.86 per 100K next to a rate nearly ten times higher in the U.S. at 10.2.

Similar data has been collected from other civilized nations across the globe, too numerous to mention in limited space here, but the point should be taken. Even Iraq’s strict gun laws translate into fewer homicides by firearm. The NRA is wrongly proposing the placement of armed volunteers not professionals in every public school and in every building at those schools. This is a recipe for disaster. Do we need modern day cowboys roaming the halls where our children learn values as well as academics?

Serious consideration needs to be done quickly of renewing the ban an assault-style weapons and high volume clips. There is no valid reason why any civilian needs to possess these military style weapons that are designed with one purpose in mind: To kill as many humans as possible as quickly as possible. High volume clips are designed to save time reloading. What “sport” requires such deadly time saving measures?

It is no coincidence the U.S. gun culture is reflected in gun violence numbers here. Is it any wonder the U.S. ranks so high in number of gun-related homicides per capita when compared to other developed nations?

The recent mass shootings in both Newtown and Colorado were done with legally-owned assault weapons by non-criminals, totally negating the arguments by the NRA and others that more regulation sets up gun crime by criminals with illegal weapons.

No one is suggesting a ban on privately owned firearms, but rather a sane, sober, and paranoia-free debate over type and quantity as part of a comprehensive solution to an ever increasing rate of gun violence in this country. Current policies are just not producing positive results. Until we change those polices and the attitudes driving them, we will see more of the same. Guaranteed.

Stephanie Ohargan


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom