Opinion

Guns and laws | Editorial

A letter in this week’s issue illustrates what many feel about gun control. What exactly is the hold-up in getting expanded background checks into laws about gun ownership?

A story in last week’s issue of the Reporter (See www.mi-reporter.com/news/205312541.html) described the efforts of a consortium of local and regional leaders to put an initiative on the ballot to do just that. Who are they? They are clergy, law enforcement and public health officials — just the people who must deal with the aftermath of senseless gun violence —over and over and over again.

For many of us — those whose lives do not include weapons of any sort either for sport or protection — we do not understand what the fuss is about. Guns are dangerous. Some people use them to threaten or kill. Isn’t it obvious?

Individuals have to be vetted and licensed to operate a car, perform surgery and install elevators. Why not at least have everyone checked out before they are allowed to have a gun?

Expanding background checks are already embraced by those who are responsible owners. Perhaps their voices have been drowned out by others who champion gun ownership without questions asked.

People say that they are entitled to have a gun to protect themselves and their property. It is a right bestowed by the Constitution of the United States.

Thus, to be fair, why can’t there be a layer of protection for those who might be harmed by guns. What about their rights?

What are guns for? For sport, for ranchers to protect livestock, for protection. For those who use weapons responsibly, expanded background checks should not be a problem.

So back to the real issue here — which are the lawmakers. Why do they hesitate to further control the proliferation of guns? Politicians want to be reelected. There is big money involved. And our elected officials are distracted and overworked. There are other important issues to deal with in the coming special session; education, roads, etc .

Yet we believe nothing is as important as keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

 

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