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Wednesday, March 20, 2013
In reference to the Sandy Hook school massacre, 6th District Rep. Bob Goodlatte told Roll Call: “We’re going to take a look at what happened there and what can be done to help avoid it in the future, but gun control is not going to be something that I would support.”
Goodlatte also stated that universal background checks, a measure that an overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens support, would cause too much inconvenience for law-abiding citizens.
The problem with that statement is that it works both ways. A law that inconveniences people when they purchase guns inconveniences criminals as well as the law-abiding, and could prevent future violence in our communities.
Isn’t that the purpose of background checks that are required of licensed gun dealers? To make it hard for criminals to get their hands on weapons that they can then use to commit crimes?
These background checks should apply to all gun sales. We should prosecute all who know they are barred and still attempt to purchase guns.
The National Rifle Association and those who support it should see this as a step toward reducing gun violence and maybe the need for more restrictions. Goodlatte’s position makes it more convenient for those who should never have guns in their hands to get access to them.
Through background checks, we can stop the criminals, mentally incompetent and those with violent tendencies from getting guns. This could prevent some of the random, but too frequent, mass killings, and some of the everyday violence that affects us all.
When most polls show that 85 percent of Americans, including NRA members, support universal background checks, it seems that all legislators should be willing to ask law-abiding citizens to tolerate this slight inconvenience.
That inconvenience might save the lives of innocent people who could be their family members, neighbors or themselves.
Keep this in mind when you enter the voting booth.
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