, Salem, MA


December 27, 2012

Letter: Time to repeal the Second Amendment


In the case of the Newtown, Conn., slayings, the 20-year-old gunman, believed to have Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, had access to assault-style weapons that were bought by his mother. No need even to purchase — he simply had to take from the home and use them to kill 26 innocent people in his hometown.

Question: Who purchased the ammunition that he used? What if the sale of ammunition were banned to private individuals in moving forward?

We — in theory — have the power to prevent mass shootings from occurring.

Our current process of enacting laws, including gun laws, is democratic, and it’s clear that Americans want this democratic process to continue into the future. No one can deny this — nor should we.

Yet in light of the very dramatic, horrific and incredibly sad mass shootings that have occurred in the U.S. over the course of the past decade —and especially following this recent shooting in Newtown — we might be begin to wonder if some more expedient emergency measures might be enacted at this time.

The argument might be made if handguns, assault weapons and their ammunition were banned tomorrow, there would be a mass shooting the next day. People find ways to get what they want. Possession of heroin is illegal, but many people still obtain and use heroin on a daily basis here in the United States.

While anyone — including those in foreign counties — can grow poppies and manufacture heroin in any back-room setup, not just anyone can MAKE a handgun, an assault weapon, ammunition or even a knife. That takes a highly specialized manufacturing facility, which is harder to come by than a poppy field and a back-room operation.

If the United States were to place the manufacture and distribution of all weapons and their ammunition in the hands of the federal government, the way it currently oversees the manufacture and distribution of minted coin and dollar bills, then it could effectively control precisely who, on American soil, possesses handguns and ammunition at any given time.

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