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Letter: Gun control debate needs common sense

8:52 PM, Jan. 31, 2013  |  Comments

Violence perpetrated by imbalanced users of firearms - especially on children - sparks a reaction in every clear-thinking individual that something has to be done. However good the intentions, facts about personal assault and homicide seem to get lost in the fog of emotion and the need to do something - even if it's wrong.

Firearm ownership is not the issue and the terms "assault weapon" and "30-round clips" are red herrings for the uninformed. Countries like Norway, Switzerland and Israel have more high-capacity semi-automatic firearms per capita than does the U.S. with far fewer personal assaults and homicides. Great Britain, Australia and Holland, on the other hand, have abolished private ownership of these weapons and have far more personal assaults and homicides. Far more crimes of this type are committed with rocks, hammers. fists and knives than are committed by firearms.

The issue is not the weapon; it's the pervasive acceptance of violence in a society and the inability of the individual to defend him or herself. Owning and carrying a firearm helps defray the second concern. The Second Amendment was written to permit us to defend ourselves, family, neighbors and society from those who would attempt to infringe on rights laid out in our constitution. To water down the intent of the Second Amendment in an attempt to mollify the anti-gun lobby serves only to give strength to those who would violate our rights.

The violent content of movies, video games, music and media anesthetizes our society to horrendous acts of violence and then we act surprised when those on the fringe of sanity act out what we've let them call entertainment. The source of violence in any society is not the weapons at its disposal; it's the devaluing of human life, the disregard of social norms, and self-aggrandizement.

Mike Walter

Winneconne

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