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Letter to the Editor - April 5

April 05, 2013

We can have both freedom and control


To the editor:

I believe in the Second Amendment, but ache for the senseless death of 20 innocent 6-year-olds, some mutilated beyond recognition, by a gun designed for military use. 

I do not want to “control” guns, but want people to be able to go to a movie without the fear of being so quickly gunned down that escape is virtually impossible. I have enjoyed shooting guns, but believe in the American right to attend a house of worship, even if different from mine, without being killed by someone who has lost the mental capacity to be a responsible gun owner. 

The NRA is correct that there are good laws that are not being enforced; but the ATF, a major government agency tasked with background checks, does not have the resources or budget to do so. I support the president’s call for better enforcement of these laws, but I question why he proposed a 12.8 percent ATF budget cut. The NRA supports the National Instant Criminal Background Check System — but I question, in this digital age, their consistent support of legislation that limits the ability to establish a consolidated data base to share information, thus often reducing “instant” background checks to the ineffective process of digging by hand through cardboard boxes, hand-scrawled index cards and, sometimes, old sheets of water-marked paper. 

I appreciate the media’s attention to the issue, but question why both sides, Fox and MSNBC, use inflammatory semantics and language that essentially impede any dialogue or compromise for a solution. There is a lot of talk and I appreciate both sides of the dispute. But we are still left with a serious challenge. We, the American people, used to talk, to debate and to solve tough problems without fear, distrust, anger or hate. We need to do that again.

Mary Ann Keyser
Hagerstown

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