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Your Opinion: Beware of new gun regulations

Your Opinion: Beware of new gun regulations

February 11th, 2013 by William Steinmeier, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

I recently opined that more firearm restrictions will only make it harder for innocent citizens to protect themselves in the case of a home invasion. The devil will be in the legislative details. Proponents of new gun laws never define assault weapon or automatic or semiautomatic weapons, nor distinguish between magazines and clips. A law that prevents the possible use of a particular gun by a deranged person will at the same time limit the ability of stable, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves with that gun.

If guns themselves are the problem, why aren't there bloody shoot-outs at every gun show? As Suzanna Hupp has said, the gun that killed her parents did not walk itself into Luby's Cafeteria or fire on its own. However, because of gun laws, the innocent people in that cafeteria were like fish in a barrel.

That guns are not the real problem is vividly demonstrated by other tragedies within our memories. On the same day as the Sandy Hook massacre, a man in China slashed 22 young children and an adult with a knife at the gate to an elementary school. A number of similar incidents have occurred in China in recent years.

Diesel fuel, fertilizer and a U-Haul truck, not guns, were used in Oklahoma City in 1995 to kill 168 and injure 680 at the Murrah Federal Building. Nineteen children under the age of six (one fewer than killed at Sandy Hook) died.

Guns are instruments that have to be used by people. The issues at play at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook and elsewhere are much more complicated than what gun laws are in place. Mental health diagnosis and treatment is a much greater factor than gun laws. But people who are uncomfortable with guns themselves and can't figure out how to address the broader issues always run first to the perceived need for more gun laws, perhaps just because they do not know what else to do.

Suzanna Hupp said recently (on Huckabee on Fox News Channel): "It seems so painfully clear that all of these mass shootings occur in places where guns aren't allowed. ... These lunatics want to rack up high body bag counts. ... So they don't go to gun shows ... they go to places where the government has said, 'you can't protect yourself.'"

Beware new gun laws. Will they protect you?