Letter: President’s Gun Plan Has Merit

I truthfully am at a loss to understand opposition to President Obama’s gun violence prevention proposal. Congressional opposition can be dismissed as Republicans once again playing politics. The knee-jerk reaction from the NRA speaks to the organization’s self-interests over the public’s welfare. And the opposing American public simply does not understand the content, which is basically as follows:

1) Gun owners are to go through a proper background check.

2) The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is currently required to report people who should not access guns, but states have been derelict in their duty, as evidenced by recent shooters who obviously should have been prevented access to guns.

3) The reinstatement of the 1994 assault weapons ban outlawing military-grade weapons such as the AR-15, which was used by Newtown gunman Adam Lanza and by James Holmes during the Aurora Theatre shootings.

4) Accessories to military-grade weapons are also dangerous, and Obama proposes banning extended magazine clips that hold more than 10 bullets.

5) Banning armor-piercing bullets, also known as “cop-killer bullets.”

6) Better-funded police officers, but Congress prefers to continue a course of austerity.

7) A better tracking system of guns used in a crime, tracing such arms back to the original owner.

8) The NRA has long blocked research on how video games, the media and violence affect violent gun crimes. It’s time we learn the truth.

9) Encouraging mental health providers to get involved.

10) We’ve all heard tragic stories of children who were able to access a parent’s unattended gun. Obama is calling on the justice department to initiate improved gun safety technology.

11) Increase the number of school counselors with funding from an existing Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring grant and a new comprehensive school safety program.

12) Encourage a safer school environment identifying at-risk students early and providing professional support.

13) The issuance of a directive to heads of state health programs, enforcing “mental health parity.”

For the sake of our children, grandchildren and the youngster next door, this proposal is needed to protect them.

Judi Gray
Boca Raton


  1. Chicago has one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. On January 26, 2013 seven victims of violence were killed in one night. Four were shot to death and three were stabbed to death with a knife.

    No one has been arrested.

  2. The emotional appeal is all that those who are hysterical about guns have, and here is a prime example:

    “Stephen King: NRA Should ‘Clean Up Blood, Brains and Chunks of Intestine’ After Next Massacre…”

    • Mr. Morelli, an incredibly poor analogy. A better one might have been that it’s like trying to ban all alcohol. Or an even better one then that would have been we only allow certain people to buy and drink alcohol. Like those over 18 (which it was for a long time), and now over 21 (which has reduced some traffic deaths). Wait, we do that! In a effort to prevent drunk driving accidents/injuries/deaths we do have a law that prevents certain people from buying/drinking alcohol (This is also a tough issue because some people feel that if at 18 one can fight for his/her country that person should be allowed to have a beer – a very valid point, but off topic.).

      Anyway, you failed to say which of the 13 points the initial letter writer wrote about you disagree with.

      However, don’t bother. I’m done.

  3. “What new, realistic guns laws would do is to try and protect people from seemingly non-criminal people who just go off for some reason.” Really? Can he offer any credible evidence for his position?

    Andrew Rosen is an intelligent person, and like many intelligent people he turns a deaf ear to facts that do not support his views. Notice that he did use an emotional argument and that he did not address the fact that stricter gun laws DO NOT prevent crimes committed with guns.

    • Mr. Morelli is right that most studies show that stricter gun laws do not prevent gun crime. However, never before in history have guns been more capable of inflicting deadly damage on a mass scale by only a single person. With automatic weapons, large clips, etc. a single person can be more devastating than ever. This is the time to do something about weapons like these.

      Mr. Morelli does not accept that any restrictions are needed. This is an argument akin to one from the old All In The Family show. In order to prevent armed airplane hijackings Archie Bunker (main character) wants guns to be handed out to every passenger. This would make a would-be hijacker think twice about trying anything. The guns would then be collected from the passengers as they left the plane. This is absurd. Not everybody should be allowed to have a gun and not every weapon should be legal.

      Proper gun laws such as registration, background checks, not allowing mentally ill people to get their hands on weapons, dangerous mass killing machines banned, are common sense fixes.

      And of course sociological causes to crime, mass shootings, etc., as Mr. Morelli points out, should also be studied. Mr. Morelli, of the 13 points the initial letter writer mentioned, which ones do you specifically oppose? Some of the points are aimed at social/sociological causes. And while we, as a society, are trying to make sociological changes, which could/will take years, why don’t we try and prevent massive killing machines from getting into people’s hands.

      Nobody is trying to take away every gun that private citizens have, but let’s put some common sense controls into effect. Let’s not become the wild, wild west (at least not as seen in the movies!). We are a civilized, modern society (I think) that should be able to deal with issues like this. This is a complex issue that does not have one quick fix or easy solution.

  4. This week’s letter section is anemic to say the least. The editor apparently had to import a writer from beyond the boundaries of his newspaper’s circulation. Letter writers often do not present an argument that is supported by evidence, and most often what we read are emotional appeals by low information writers. Guns do not commit crimes, people do. The simple fact that seems to escape people who are afraid of guns is that stricter gun laws do not prevent crimes committed with guns.

    The Washington Times conducted a study of cities that have strict gun laws and found that crimes committed with the use of guns were not reduced by strictly limiting gun ownership, and in fact some of those cities that limit gun ownership had the highest incidents of crimes where the perpetrator used a gun.

    New York City is one of the most anti-gun cities in the country according to the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence. Only according to the FBI New York City was in the top 10 cities in homicides committed with the use of a gun.

    North Dakota which permits its citizens to freely own and use guns is one of the safest places in the country to live if you’re looking for a place where you will not be killed by a criminal using a gun.

    In an exhaustive academic study, conducted by Gary Kleck a professor of criminology at Florida State University, he concluded that “States’ rime rates show scant linkage to gun laws.

    Stop the hysteria about guns and start looking for sociological causes. Let me suggest that we can expect more violence as our standard of living continues to decline and as family values continue to erode.

    • I agree with Mr. Morelli’s statement “Guns do not commit crimes, people do.” No doubt about that. But it is also valid to say that guns don’t kill people, bullets do – it’s only guns that make the bullets go very, very fast. What I am trying to say here is that if there were less guns (and bullets) out there criminals would have less chance to use them to commit crimes and hurt people. I also know that criminals will still get guns somehow and that people want weapons to protect themselves.

      What new, realistic guns laws would do is to try and protect people from seemingly non-criminal people who just go off for some reason. I have no problem with hunter’s having guns, with collectors having guns, etc. but let’s be honest here – unless a hunter has only 15 minutes to kill a heard of armor wearing deer there is no reason for someone to own a military style automatic weapon that can fire an amazing amount of bullets at an amazing speed.

      The regulations proposed are not too stringent on hunters or collectors. Background checks seem reasonable as we don’t want people with mental deficiencies to possess guns, make guns safer so there are less accidental shootings, tracing weapons used in crimes back to original owners, smaller clips in guns, etc.

      I disagree with Mr. Morelli when he calls this ‘hysteria about guns’, people have been saying these things for a long time, but are more vociferous after a tragic event like we had in Newtown (and a few places before and after!). I do agree with him that we need to also look at the sociological causes to these outbursts. I think we need improved mental health care as well. However, we will never be able to stop things like this entirely, sometimes seemingly sane people have breakdowns and “go off” and nobody can tell beforehand. But, if we enact some more rules maybe we can prevent a few of these major incidents happening. Less guns around, maybe less shootings!

      I cannot see how anyone (except a criminal who needs a gun ASAP) would oppose some of these rules. Let’s not go back to the wild, wild west. Let’s show that we are a modern, civilized nation in the 21st century and act like it and be reasonable.

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