Once again, frequent columnist Tony Marconi has written a opinion piece on guns with misrepresentations and untruths. He starts out by making the comment on the “extraordinary amount of gun violence plaguing this country,” a comment that at best is a gross generalization. Gun deaths have, in fact, generally gone down in the last few decades with spikes mostly because of murders in places like Chicago, which ironically, had the most restrictive gun laws in the country. This alone is a good example of why draconian gun control does not work.
Mr. Marconi goes on to question the meaning of the Second Amendment. Let me be perfectly clear, it has nothing to do with hunting, home protection, or belonging to a militia. It gives the right to bear arms to the citizens of the United States (providing for obvious restrictions on things like prohibiting felons from possessing them, etc.), and the ruling in The District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) further establishes this. The statement that this right, “Shall not be infringed” is also clear.
He also references his experience in the Army as some sort of qualification to comment on gun issues. His lack of knowledge on the subject is made clear by the absurd comment that a semi-automatic rifle or an M-60 machine gun would not be suitable for hunting. First off, an M-60 has nothing to do with the conversation for a number of obvious reasons, and secondly, semi-automatic rifles are suitable for hunting certain game like coyotes and feral pigs. Not to mention the numerous other shooting sports and home defense.
Banning semi-automatic rifles is an ignorant knee-jerk reaction, especially since less than 2 percent of murders are committed with an “assault rifle.” In fact, more people are beaten to death than are killed by all long guns combined. As well, banning “high-capacity magazines” (another vague and meaningless term) is also a useless move, as most mass shootings (approximately 80 percent) involve handguns. The Virginia Tech shooting involved only handguns, with nearly twice as many people killed as in the Parkland shooting.
Mr. Marconi goes on to praise the student activists, but they clearly don’t have a good grasp of the problem or knowledge about guns. I certainly would not heap any praise on David Hogg, who at best, is crude and disrespectful to his elders. The Parkland shooting clearly is the responsibility of Nikolas Cruz, but it clearly could have been prevented if not for the abject failure of the local police, the FBI, and the school system for not making sure that his behavior was appropriately dealt with prior to the shooting. And while any school shooting is a tragedy, the fact is that they just aren’t as common as the news media would have you believe.
Politicians are just starting to deal with the mental health issues that are the cause of many shootings, and that’s where the energy should be put, not on law-abiding citizens.