Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the U.S. and around the world participate in practical shooting sports. They come from all walks of life; mothers, fathers, kids — in some cases entire families competing together. More information can be found at and

Many firearms used in these activities would be classified as “assault weapons” by legislation under consideration at the state and national levels. To say there is no legitimate sporting purpose for these guns is absurd. They are purpose-built specifically for competition. Banning, restricting or otherwise hampering these sports would have no effect on public safety.

Gun restrictions do not reduce crime. Perpetrators of mass shootings are terrorists, seeking primarily to inflict fear. They target schools and other “gun-free zones” because resistance will be minimal. The deadliest school assault in United States history (Bath Township, MI, 1927) occurred before so-called “assault weapons” existed.

Surely the definition of bad legislation would be that which has negative secondary consequences, yet fails to accomplish its stated goal.

Assault is a behavior, not a characteristic of equipment. If you are serious about public safety, ask yourself how many innocents would die as we blame human frailty on guns. What portion of those resources might have been allocated to mental health programs and other effective measures?

You may not like guns. But don’t be fooled into thinking that ruining someone else’s hard work will make you or your child safer. The product being sold by gun-control advocates is not safety — it’s just control.

Paul Marshall