With the recent shooting in Tucson, Ariz., there has been a renewed frenzy to alter laws and try to restrict the use of guns. Some suggestions are restricting the size of magazines to cut down the number of casualties at any one event, to an absolute ban of all weapons.
Most are knee jerk reactions that will cause the NRA to spring into action and ensure that again nothing of substance will ever pass in Washington.
As I see the problem, it is two fold - one of which could be cured by simply implementing the permit system that is already in force in New York State. We have an application process that requires that applicants for a pistol permit submit their request to the county sheriff with three references that are contacted and questioned by the sheriff, and background checks are done by the FBI.
If anything has occurred in an individual's past that isn't quite right, the permit is denied. If after the permit is issued and any criminal activity occurs, the permit is revoked.
The whole process takes a couple of weeks and cools down the impulsive behavior that occurred in Tucson.
This process allows honest gun owners to be harassed just enough to make them just slightly angry.
Now to my second point - gun shows and states that do not require background checks and have no regulations as to quantity or type. Case in point: Virginia and Arizona.
These two entities account for the flooding of illegal weapons onto the streets of most of our major cities. This laxity allows all of the gang bangers and petty criminals access to the weapons they are unable to procure legally. Until we get serious about this illegal flow of weapons, we will never solve the events like the one that just occurred in Arizona.
Public outrage will eventually drown out the unyielding voice of the NRA and all of we honest gun owners will pay the price.
In case you think that I am a flaming liberal, I have a whole house full of weapons and have hunted my entire life. I was a member of the NRA for years until it became apparent that their leadership was not interested in common sense. Like many of my hunting friends, I quit.
John C. Dillenburg lives in Forestville.