Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

January 16, 2013

Wabbit season, duck season

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — All the gun law stuff is being voted on in Albany and it looks like assault weapons may be on their way out. I do understand people’s insistence that weapons have to go, but I also think that the effort is misdirected.

Every tragedy must have its boogeyman for us to point our fingers at. Not only does the boogeyman need to exist, it must also be something we can get our hands on. Most people do not want to try and understand the underlying issues of mental illness, so they point at gun control as the boogeyman in this instance. Unlike cigarette smoking, which can kill you, owning a gun is not an inherently dangerous act.

Before I dive any deeper into this argument, let me preface it by saying that I do not have a dog in this fight. I can actually see both sides in this gun control discussion, but I feel like there is more to it than what is being dealt with. I think people are ignoring doing the hard work just to find an easy way to pin these tragedies on something. That is like putting the proverbial Band-Aid on a broken arm, in my opinion.

In both the Sandy Hook and Webster cases, the guns were legally procured. That means that the people who originally bought the guns, did so legally. In the case of Sandy Hook, the guns were stolen by the assailant from their lawful owner. In the case of Webster, the guns were purchased under false pretenses by a very sick young lady. While I do agree that no weapon owned by a private individual needs to be semi-automatic and shoot a clip of 10 or more rounds, laws would not have stopped these tragedies from happening.

The honesty of good people would have stopped these tragedies. The mother in the Sandy Hook case knew she had a son with special needs living in the house, and she also knew he was dangerous. The young lady in Webster was apparently smitten with the sick individual who wanted the weapons and she supplied what he needed, even though she knew he could not legally buy the weapons himself.

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