The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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March 16, 2013

Your View: We need safeguards against gun violence

— I just finished watching a debate over proposed gun legislation. Listening to Rep. Tony Cornish made me realize that the opponents to any version of gun control will never be swayed by intellectual argument. Rather than looking for ways to reduce violence, these people are prepared to hunker down in their homes and rely on firearms to provide them a sense of security.

The NRA has tapped into this most basic instinct to protect home and hearth, and along with the firearms industry, has mobilized and financed an impressive political movement with a simple objective -- defeat any attempt to control possession of virtually any form of firearms. A number of states have even bought into the NRA solution to school shootings -- armed guards and or armed teachers.

Most of us are sitting on the sidelines of this debate and maybe have even grown tired of the topic. I would suggest to you that the NRA position can negatively affect all of us. Its opposition to background checks inhibits the means to keep guns out of the hands of people who would threaten our homes and our children.

The NRA would argue that background checks do not work. I challenge them to help law enforcement correct the deficiencies and create a system that does work.

We have created a comprehensive system of education and laws to make driving safer than it was. When we read of a drunken driver with repeat offenses we don't repeal the DWI statute and say it did not work.

I am not opposed to people owning cars and guns. However, it makes me feel safer to know that there are safeguards regarding who is driving and who is shooting.


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