So yet another school shooting has occurred with the shooter using an assault-type rifle with a high-capacity magazine. It is past time for Congress to step up and enact some sane restrictions on the types of weaponry that citizens can legally obtain and own.
The National Rifle Association, which makes millions of dollars in campaign contributions to many Republican legislators, claims that the Second Amendment gives everyone the right to have these weapons. The Founding Fathers could never have possibly imagined the types of guns that are presently available to everyone today. The NRA’s “slippery slope” argument that if we ban one type of weapon, soon it will be all weapons, is specious at best and totally ignorant of the fact that such a ban would take a constitutional amendment, which will never happen.
No one I know of is proposing banning all guns. But we must take some steps to curb the senseless violence which seems to be rampant in our society. The NRA mantra that if we ban these weapons, then only criminals will have them may be true for a time, but gradually, through law enforcement, background checks, voluntary surrender of assault rifles, and confiscation from criminals, there will be fewer and fewer of these lethal weapons in use.
It is clearly time to do something more than pray for the victims.
Corvallis (Feb. 20)