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March 7, 2013

Insights and Outbusts: Too many guns, too many wrongs

There were many responses to the Newtown, Conn., shooting in this newspaper, ranging from those who believe the 2nd Amendment “rules” without exception and those who believe our “right to bear arms” was never intended to support the right of ordinary citizens to own assault weapons.

When I first heard that the National Rifle Association was going to make a statement, I hoped that a sane policy would emerge on the subject, with a serious discussion of the issues, but instead, Wayne LaPierre’s speech was just another “right” vs. “left” argument, although I agreed with him on one subject.

It’s not only guns that have changed America in my lifetime. It’s also been the dumbing down of American education, the disparaging of ethical and moral standards, the acceptance of video game violence and our preoccupation with individual rights instead of personal responsibilities.

Fifteen years ago, I wrote an article called “Another look at gun control” and I haven’t changed my opinion on the subject since then.

You don’t have to be a conservative to realize that many gun control laws are little more than cosmetic attempts to resolve the problems of assault weapons in the hands of disturbed children and adults, and it’s not only liberals who believe there are too many military style weapons in the hands of people who believe they need to “protect themselves from the government.”

As a police officer and a competitive shooter in New York City in the 1960s and ‘70s, I owned three revolvers and would have been subject to an automatic 10-day suspension without pay if I lost any of them, even in a burglary. So I installed an expensive alarm lock on my apartment door and kept them secured and inaccessible to guests of any age. When I traveled out of New York, I was obligated to report weapons in my possession to police agencies in other states.

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