Kansas hunters should shape debate on gun control


December 26, 2012 - 12:00 AM

First off, let’s get assault weapons off the table.
Hunters and those who shoot guns for sport, don’t want them around anymore than those of us who don’t care for the activities.
Rapid-fire guns loaded down with magazines of ammunition have one purpose — to kill a lot of people quickly.
There’s nothing sporting about spraying a field or sky full of bullets.
It took Adam Lanza 10 minutes to gun down 20 school children and six teachers in the Newtown, Conn. massacre, using a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle.
That kind of weapon — high-capacity, rapid-fire — made it relatively simple. It’s estimated Lanza fired one shot every three seconds, taking advantage of numerous 30-round magazines.
Had he been forced to reload more often, to pause even for a few seconds, maybe fewer people would have died.
Wayne LaPierre, president of the National Rifle Association, said the answer to Connecticut, is to place armed guards in every school.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said.
Fear, in other words, is to be the tone in the school yard.
No, no, gun enthusiasts say. Guns protect.
No, they intimidate. Which is why people like to wear them strapped around their hips. Or why “packing heat,” makes some feel more powerful.
“I could hurt you if I wanted,” they think.
Which is not a civilized way to think.
THE HORSE is out of the gate as far as serious gun control is considered. There’s almost one gun for every American today.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t control what kind of ammunition and kinds of gun can be sold from now on.
Take assault weapons and the kind of ammunition they use off the market and sooner or later their use will be curtailed.
Also, background checks on every purchase should be mandatory. Gun shows are notorious for selling weapons to those not qualified for their use.
AS A SPORT, hunting is on the downswing. Of all people who own guns, only about 35 percent are hunters.
So the majority of NRA card-holders are not hunters, or even sportsmen, despite the fact that the NRA calls itself the “largest pro-hunting organization in the world.”
In truth, the NRA isn’t speaking for hunters and sportsmen when it fights background checks for gun-purchases; when it promotes the sale of assault weapons; when it fights limits of gun sales, and when it says we need more, not fewer, guns on our streets.
Most hunters and sportsmen have great respect for their sport and know better than anyone the danger weapons can wield.
They should speak up in the debate of gun control.

— Susan Lynn

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