The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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December 22, 2012

Your View: Banning assault weapons is the best response

— As legislators talk about gun control I hope there is an emphasis on preventing horrific events like Sandy Hook, the Colorado movie theater shooting, Virginia Tech and Columbine. 

Maybe you don’t have a criminal background or an anxiety disorder, but that doesn’t guarantee that someone who does won’t get a hold of an assault weapon that was purchased legally.

Semi-automatic large caliber rifles with high capacity magazines are undeniably designed for one purpose — killing humans. Anyone with a credit card can purchase one and unleash its potential on the public. What’s supposed to make me feel better, is that I too, can purchase a weapon and spend the rest of my life fearing for my children and looking over my shoulder waiting to confront a suicidal maniac wearing body armor.  

These shooters are more heavily armed than law enforcement who have moments to respond.  Someone with a conceal and carry permit stands even less of a chance.

Why make this kind of death potential commercially available to the public? We need to weigh the risks against the benefits. Is the hobby of the few worth all of the destruction we have seen and will continue to see?

I understand the Second Amendment and its purpose. One can target shoot, defend their homestead and collect more responsible firearms in a way that doesn’t endanger our children at school or the public at large. A background check and mental health screening is not enough.  Ban assault weapons now!

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