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LETTER: Gun control efforts are needed

To the Editor:

In my mail recently I received a letter from someone who I must assume took offense to one of my letters concerning gun control, or should I say the lack of it in this country.

The fact that I did receive the letter is in itself a good thing, as I believe my letters have had the desired effect, which is to begin a debate on a subject that is long overdue. I would love to debate the person who took the time to write the letter, but sadly this person must lack the confidence to defend his beliefs in person, as he did not sign his letter and left no return address other than "A freeborn U.S. citizen."

Let me reply to your letter, Mr. Freeborn. First of all I'm not calling for all weapons to be taken away, which would be foolish. Firearms are a part of our heritage, but I would venture most citizens don't feel the need to have extended capacity ammunition clips for their hunting weapons, nor would they have a need for automatic weapons. Banning the sale of these things would in itself make ours a safer, if only slightly safer, country.

No Mr. Freeborn, gun control is not a cure for mental illness and no one is trying to say it is. The people who perpetrated the horrendous carnage in Newtown and Aurora were no doubt suffering from mental illness but no one can know for sure.

But, sir, is it even just remotely possible that the number of people who were massacred in these towns could have been less, or perhaps non-existent, had the shooters not had such easy access to these weapons and the accessories that turn them into WMDs?

Is it also possible, Mr. Freeborn, that if we had more stringent gun controls and background checks that even a few of the violent deaths, in the streets of Chicago or Detroit or Minneapolis, could have been avoided?

If we make it hard for the bad guys to buy weapons, is that a bad thing? Perhaps it would be a little more inconvenient for the sportsman, but if it saves one life, maybe your child, or mine, maybe the child who grows up to find a cure for cancer or some other scourge, who knows? But isn't a little inconvenience worth it?

Mr. Freeborn, you go on to talk of liberal politicians prohibiting Bibles and prayers in schools, and in our society that chases away all that is good and fills the void with evil. Mr. Freeborn, I can understand how you feel the need to arm yourself, as paranoia is a dangerous thing.

Myself I'm just another citizen, unarmed and unafraid. I need no weapon to feel safe, as I, sir, have faith in God and my country.

George Richard

New Richmond