Letter to the Editor: False statement made in December article

I was quite surprised to see incorrect information published in the article “It’s time to talk about gun violence” by Christopher Gunty in the December issue of the Catholic Review.

In the article he talks about mass shootings in this country and states “And yet, we take no action. No limits on automatic rifles.” This is simply not true.

Regulation of automatic weapons goes all the way back to the National Firearms Act of 1934, then in 1986 the “Firearm Owner Protection Act” was passed which completely banned the possession and transfer of new automatic firearms. In other words, unless your automatic rifle was produced before 1986, it is illegal.

The only way to legally purchase an automatic rifle in this country is to buy one for tens of thousands of dollars from a collector who purchased it before 1986 (and undergo extensive background checks).

Further gun control only punishes law abiding citizens, criminals will get these weapons illegally on the black market, just like drugs, or use one of the their many other options (bombs, knives, etc.) to commit acts of violence.  Enforcement of existing laws to get criminals off the street, early identification of mental health issues (mentioned in the article), and promoting responsible parenting are part of the solution to lowering the amount of violence in this country.

 

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Brian Raley