Sensible gun laws to stop the bleeding

Close the hatches and seal the doors. Apparently, the United States is in such danger of a foreign invasion, or even, quite possibly the domestic imposition of tyranny, that we need to sacrifice our own personal safety.

Or so Joseph Daniel Ura (“Guns Don’t Cause Violence,” Sept. 2, p. 4) would have you believe. Never mind the fact that the United States has some of the most permissive gun laws among the industrialized societies of the world. Of course, this is understandable, given the threatening postures of the Canadians and the Mexicans.

Mr. Ura, in my opinion, sees the gun issue as many Americans do. I for one, agree with him that violence in society is a problem that pervades our culture and moral fabric. And like many citizens of this country, I wholeheartedly agree that attacking our societal problems is one way we should be working to stop the gun-related tragedies that seem to occur almost monthly.

However, when a person is having a heart attack, a doctor would certainly not give the victim a lecture on healthy eating habits and proper exercise. It doesn’t take a medical degree to come to the conclusion that when a person has a heart attack, you treat the life-threatening symptoms first, and then proceed to help the victim change his lifestyle.

The same principles ought to be applied to guns and violence. When people are dying every day due to a level of violence that is permitted by guns, the reasonable conclusion is to limit access to those guns to people that will use them for legitimate purposes. By imposing waiting periods and mandatory background checks, you are not placing undue burdens upon anybody who has a legitimate need for a gun, such as hunting. Moreover, by banning guns like attack-style assault rifles, we can prevent, or at least inhibit, one’s ability to kill large numbers of people in a short amount of time.

In the end, I think these restrictions would even satisfy Mr. Ura’s arguments. While implementing reasonable gun control restrictions, we could, and should, continue to attack the underlying causes of gun violence.

Moreover, we could even create a commission to study the tragedies of criminal deaths caused by stairs, since Mr. Ura suggests that stairs kill people too. And lastly, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms could grant gun licenses to anybody who could demonstrate an imminent threat to national security. Because when the gun-toting Bermudans land on the shores of Maryland, I want to be able to protect myself, too.

-The writer is a sophomore majoring in political science.

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