The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 28, 2012

Your View: Banning weapons is an irresponsible reaction

By Kurt Schroeder, North Mankato

— In response to Dan Conner's Your Views letter published Dec. 20, "Ban assault weapons in response to shooting."

Do you really believe the solution to human tragedy is to ban it, tax it, and "those that remain dangerous should be institutionalized"?

It frustrates me to no end the depth of simplistic ignorance and emotional reaction people allow themselves without thinking critically about such issues.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution is clear. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." It's a simple statement and it speaks volumes to clarity of purpose.

The citizens of the United States have the right to keep and bear arms, not single out which ones some of us like or dislike.

If banning assault weapons to counter tragedies is the answer, define what they are. Any object can be an assault weapon -- pencils, books, pens, etc. Automatic weapons are currently limited with existing gun laws. Semi-automatic weapons discharge the empty shell or cartridge and reload the chamber after each trigger pull. This includes handguns, shotguns, and rifles.

Reacting with a ban is irresponsible, void of reason, and offers no practical, viable solution.

Any object, in the hands of evil people intent on doing harm, is an assault weapon.

How should we responsibly mitigate such tragedies? Focus on the people who commit such crimes. Educate yourself on mental illness. Focus on the perpetrators, not their weapons of choice.

Infringing on the constitutional rights of citizens is not the answer. Think first, act later.