Letter to the Editor: Ideas for Law-Abiding Gun Owners

For a day or so I had hope that something might have happened to turn the corner on gun safety in the United States. I am so proud of the the young people from all over America who have taken the challenge to say “enough.” The President convened a bipartisan discussion and articulated a particularly strident view of his willingness to lead for something to be done on gun safety. He chided legislative leaders from his own party about “being afraid of the NRA.”  

A day or so later he met with NRA leadership, he put the most embarrassing and inept member of his cabinet in charge of doing something about school safety and promptly caved to the NRA. So far, our legislators (both parties by the way) seem to see this as an issue to be managed, not a crisis to be solved.

I have a few ideas that will not infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners:

  • How about raising the age to purchase a gun to age 21 unless one has been honorably discharged from the U.S. military? Sure, parents/guardians should be able to purchase guns for their children to use.
  • How about closing the gun show loophole on background checks?
  • How about a system of prohibiting purchase of and removing guns from those adjudicated to be mentally ill or a threat to themselves or others?
  • How about reinstituting the assault weapon ban?  Who really needs to own a military killing machine to hunt or defend her family?
  • How about mandating training to carry a weapon in public? Doesn’t seem that requiring a basic knowledge of weapons is an infringement on second amendment rights.
  • How about repealing the Dickey Amendment? This ill-conceived action of Congress prohibits the Centers for Disease Control from researching the impact of gun violence.

These ideas are not liberal or conservative ideas they are common sense ideas. Yet some think it somehow violates the Constitution to put some sort of a limit on anybody walking in to a sporting good store and walking out with an assault rifle and no training.  

As to the idea that we can’t let the government infringe on one’s right to own an AR-15, yet it is somehow ok to enable these outrages like Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Tucson, Orlando and now Stoneman-Douglas to continue in our American culture is mind boggling. Right now it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” someone in Congress will once again rise to call for prayers and a moment of silence.

If the NRA was at all smart, they’d create some standards, participate in a meaningful dialog with a cross section of Americans and help find solutions. The NRA should work for common sense reform. In the alternative there will be more killing, more outrage and one day there will be a chorus for change so deafening that even the most strident supporters in legislatures will be overwhelmed to take action.


Sam Carmen

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

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