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Letter: Criminals can find way to get deadly weapons


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From: Mickey Ely

Columbus

Received: Feb. 10

I’m responding to Mr. William Scarbrough’s letter to the editor published Feb. 8. I am a law-abiding, lifetime member of NRA. The reason is very simple. Well-intentioned citizens like Mr. Scarbrough seem to be unable to understand an unfortunate but basic fact of our society. Regardless of how many laws are passed on gun control, criminals will always be able to get guns, whether the black market is U.S. or foreign.

There are already over 1,000 laws on the books regarding gun control. Do we honestly think (or do we just hope) one more law, or laws, would prevent the unimaginable horror of another mentally ill person with a documented history of violence from illegally getting guns for the purpose of attacking our schools?

I share his rage and frustration. It is understandable that as a nation we want something done to prevent more loss of innocent lives. However, blaming the NRA for being the organization that opposes any such laws is nothing more than lashing out at the highest profile target. I’m so thankful cooler heads are directing corrective action toward the video games industry for their promotion of violence, and there is finally some serious thought being given to improving the care and treatment of those mentally ill patients who have already shown themselves to be dangerous when released into society. Unfortunately, these two issues are more difficult to address, so we settle for blaming the NRA and passing a few more gun laws.

With all the negative media directed toward the NRA, when was the last time we heard them or a politician mention the NRA offers between $10,000 to $20,000 for a grand scholarship to high school students attending their annual NRA Youth Education Summit? Or what about the $2,500 to $12,500 the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund offers to the Law Student Scholarship Writing Contest?

Supporting gun sports such as trap, skeet, sporting clays, marksmanship contests and safety courses is what NRA is really about. What upsets people who just don’t like guns is the NRA opposes, as they should, laws which infringe on the rights (and they are rights, not privileges) of law-abiding citizens to own and use firearms for completely legal purposes.

Let’s take just one of the hot topics in the news regarding magazine capacity. The NRA understands if a law is passed allowing only a maximum of, let’s say, 10 rounds in a clip, a person intent on doing harm can carry enough 10-round clips to make up for the firepower of the higher-capacity magazines. But the law-abiding citizen who enters legally sanctioned competitions of multiple-target courses with more than 10 targets can no longer compete on that course without breaking the law.

The NRA also understands that the time required for a person intent on doing harm to change a clip in a firearm is the same whether that clip has 5, 10, 15 or 20 rounds. Bottom line, the bad guy can still do the same damage after the law is passed that he could do before, but the good guy can’t compete as he once did.

Mr. Scarbrough, I have the utmost respect for your opinion. Thankfully, Uncle Sam has not passed a law that prohibits you and I from having an opinion — at least not yet!

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