Legislation needed after Colo. shootings [UPDATED]Published 7:28am Monday, July 30, 2012 Updated 12:34pm Monday, July 30, 2012
In the name of public safety, Congress can and should enact some form of legislation to protect Americans from mass killings.
This can be accomplished, at least in part, without an all-out ban on sales of assault weapons.
I’m in agreement with Star Tribune letter to the editor writer Jeff Heimer of Blaine who says that we need to do more to protect Americans from people bent on mass killing.
Many hunters like me also agree.
“When psychotic people, intent on killing as many people as possible, can buy unlimited ammunition, riot gear, assault weapons and bomb material with a simple driver’s license, a 30-minute background check (as in Colorado) and free shipping through the Internet, I have to question anyone who doesn’t support fair, equitable, common-sense decisions limiting how and what can be purchased,” said Heimer.
He says that limiting purchases and monitoring through a database may never be perfect, but it certainly could reduce the carnage we witness over and over in this country.
“After 9/11, it became much tougher to fly, with new bans and restrictions on what you could bring onto any commercial airliner, all in the name of safety, protecting us from people bent on mass killing,” said Heimer.
“The rules may not be perfect, but they seem to work very well.”
When the manufacturing of methamphetamine spiraled out of control, limits and actual databases were created to block the staggering amount of head-cold products being used to make meth.
“Not perfect,” said Heimer, “but it’s working pretty well, according to recent methamphetamine statistics.”
Lastly, in his letter to the editor, he points to our recent past when drunken driving became an epidemic in this country.
“We cracked down and made the penalties (for drunken driving) much harsher,” said Heimer. “Not perfect by any means, but much better than it was.”
As for Congressional action following the recent Colorado killings, I’d say there’s a better chance of Roger Maris entering the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Recognition for the Fargo native enshrined in Cooperstown is highly unlikely.
It should be noted that Mitt Romney, as Massachusetts governor in 2004, signed legislation banning assault-style weapons.
The legislation Romney signed into law in 2004 was passed by Massachusetts lawmakers to ban assault-style semiautomatic weapons.
This came about as a federal prohibition was about to expire. Congress hasn’t renewed that ban.
Republicans and Democrats alike, on Capitol Hill, have no desire to talk about more gun control, especially in an election year.
You often hear the words that guns don’t kill, people do.
“That may be true, but guns make killing people much easier,” said a deer hunter during a talk show on Monday, July 23.
If the Colorado suspect had bought the assault rifle in California, it would have come with a bullet button which slows down the time it takes to re-load.
California’s limit on a magazine is 10 bullets.
Four other states also have limitations on the use of assault rifles.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who has no fear of the National Rifle Association (NRA), heads a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
They advocate stricter rules on gun sales and ownership.
“No other developed country in the world has remotely the problem we have,” said Bloomberg.
“We have more guns than people in this country.”
Most Americans, however, do not believe that tougher gun laws would be the solution.
Gallup polls over the last two decades show the percentage of Americans who favor making gun control laws more strict fell from 78 percent in 1990 to 44 percent in 2010.
Doing nothing, in the wake of the shootings in Colorado, should not be an option for the U.S. Congress.