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Letter to the Editor: Gun safety measures enjoy public support

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Mass shootings are more of a crisis than immigration in this country. To date, 289 people were killed in mass shootings in the United States this year. That’s more people than were killed by illegal aliens.

Yet the House and Senate fail to offer any laws concerning gun ownership because they are afraid of the NRA and their poisonous campaigns against anyone who dares to oppose them. It’s time for our representatives and president to stand up to the NRA.

The Second Amendment gives people the right to bear arms as part of “a well regulated militia.” This does not mean that every person should keep their own military arsenal at home. No one except the military should own assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.

The shooter in El Paso, Texas, killed 22 people within 30 seconds and the shooter in Dayton, Ohio, killed 9 people by firing 41 shots in 30 seconds. These high-capacity magazines are deadly and should be banned. There is no legitimate reason anyone would need a high-capacity magazine unless they are a soldier in war. Why are these allowed? It’s insanity.

The gun lobby talks about how guns don’t kill people and that the problem is mental illness. So why don’t they support universal background checks that might prevent the mentally ill from getting guns at gun shows or other loopholes?

The shooters in Dayton and El Paso both used assault-style weapons that were purchased legally. An assault weapons ban and a limit on high-capacity magazines were in place from 1994 to 2004. Deaths from mass shootings declined during this time. But the ban was not renewed and mass shootings have skyrocketed. It would be common sense to continue the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

A survey by NBC News/Wall Street Journal in August found that 89 percent of Americans favor expanded background checks, 76 percent support “red flag” laws to identify dangerous persons and deny them guns and 75 percent favor a voluntary buyback program. Sixty-two percent of Americans favor a ban on the sale of semi-automatic weapons. Only 25 percent support banning the sale of handguns and 46 percent of Americans say someone in their household owns a gun.

It’s time for our representatives to pass these measures. Please write or call your congressman and senator today.

Judith Mesko

Rocky Mount

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