The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 1, 2013

Your View: Without change, we are doomed to repeat tragedies

Tom Leonhardt, St. Peter

— In response to Kurt Schroeder’s letter published Dec. 29 about the definition of assault weapons: I would agree with him, we need to define such dangerous weaponry. I suggest going back to the definition in the 1994 language from the original assault weapons ban including magazines/clips to start. There, that was easy.

Additionally, Schroeder is also correct about other everyday items being used as assault weapons. One example that comes to mind is anhydrous ammonia, used as an assault weapon, and now highly regulated by the government even though it serves a helpful purpose in agriculture and food production. As far as other everyday items like pens and pencils, let’s look at this thoughtfully as Schroeder would ask us to.

Are more than 10,000 Americans killed each year from pen and pencil attacks? No. Try going into a prison or mental health facility and see how many inmates are allowed to walk around with pens and pencils on their person. I would guess very few if any would be found as it would be a public safety risk for the populous. That’s a risk assessment made by thinking and then acting.

It is fine if you want to hide behind a 200-year-old amendment — that is your right. The most hardened gun supporters are correct when they say there are other issues at play, I agree with that 100 percent.

Why then, can those same people not agree that guns and our gun culture have a part in this as well? Until they do, I fear we are doomed to repeat these tragedies over and over again.