, Newburyport, MA

January 11, 2013

Reinstate the assault weapons ban

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Ever since 20 children and six adult Americans were massacred by a man with an assault rifle in Newtown, Conn., I keep asking myself if gun owners in America have more rights than non-gun owners. When someone decides to bring guns into their home, they place my life, my family and the lives of every American in danger. So I ask, do they have more rights than those of us who have no need for guns? Does their right to own weapons that massacre people, weapons that put my family in danger, outweigh my rights as an American?

As in the Newtown case, this man had access to his mother’s guns. Why? Was her arsenal not locked up? Did her son, with apparent medical issues, have full access to her arsenal? Apparently so, and because of this, he killed her and 25 innocent people, including 20 first-graders. They were torn to shreds by her assault rifle. A machine gun that shoots six bullets per second, a machine gun that has only one purpose and that purpose is to shred human beings to pieces. Why does any American have a right to own a weapon whose only purpose is to tear people to shreds? I can’t imagine how the parents of those little children feel, whose bodies were shredded to pieces. Did that woman have more rights to own that assault weapon than the parents of those children?

Many will say they have the right because of the Second amendment, which was upheld by the conservative justices on the Supreme Court. I’d say it was a supreme mistake. An amendment to the U.S. Constitution recorded over 200 years ago, when the 13 Colonies had no military and had to depend on the people to defend our sovereignty over the British. Our forefathers’ only intent was to stop a British invasion because we had no military. Their only recourse was to rely on the people to defend our newborn infant of the 13 Colonies. They would not have written it if we had a military, nor could they have imagined weapons that tear people to shreds owned by non-military personnel. The Supreme Court was outright wrong in its decision.

How many more Americans will be massacred before Congress takes action? Will it take a lunatic with an assault rifle spraying the Halls of Congress or the Supreme Court to put an end to the lunacy? How many Americans will stand up, gun owners included, to demand an end to the insanity of weapons that massacre?

It is time to reinstate the assault weapons ban and the mega-bullet clips. The only way to do this is to pressure Congress to do what’s right. It is the right thing to do; otherwise, more Americans will be massacred, and a silent declaration will have been acknowledged that gun owners do have more rights than non-gun owners, and that, in my view, is outright wrong.

Bill Chatigny