The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 19, 2012

Tragedy demands legislation

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

The tragedy in Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn., is beyond horrible. Mere words are not adequate. Senseless killing is never easy to understand. The senseless killing of children is impossible to comprehend. The survivors, the parents and friends, classmates and those dealing with the aftermath need all our prayers.

In visiting with my son about this subject today, he made an interesting observation: “At some point, we (Americans) need to have a serious conversation about the easy access to guns.”

While not a popular statement with certain segments of our society, there have been at least nine incidents of gun-initiated multiple murders in the United States since 1990, including: July in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater massacre; January 2011 at a Tuscon, Ariz., supermarket opening; November 2009 on the Fort Hood Army post, outside Waco, Texas; April 2007 on the Virginia Tech University campus in Blacksburg, Va.; March 2006 in Seattle; April 1999 in Columbine High School in Colorado; July 1986 in an Edmond post office; January 1993 in Palestine, Ill.; October 1991 in Killeen, Texas.

The preceding examples do not include the thousands of individual murders during the same time.

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the most dangerous weapon on the planet was a single-shot musket that took nearly two minutes to reload.

Many scholars believe that the framers wanted to ensure that everyone would have the tools necessary to feed one’s family. It is totally unreasonable to believe that they could have imagined a hand-gun capable of rapidly firing a dozen rounds before reloading, or an assault rifle capable of cutting a brick wall in half with one magazine of ammunition in less than two minutes.

Every soldier quickly learns that assault rifles, automatic handguns and similar weapons are built for one purpose: to kill human beings. It is time that we as a nation have a serious conversation about what constitutes a weapon for hunting game or defending one’s home versus killing our neighbors.

Of course, that is my opinion, I could be wrong.

BILL HUNTINGTON

Norman

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