In gun debate, look at the human element


Published Feb 19, 2013 at 04:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

We have approximately as many guns in the United States as we do people — roughly 320 million. If guns were acting by themselves to kill us, we would all be dead.

Semi-automatic firearms have been in widespread use for over a hundred years. John Browning patented his “1911” pistol as Ford was introducing the Model A. Every day, Americans shoot hundreds of thousands of rounds from semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns without the slightest thought of harming each other.

The recent wave of mass shootings illuminates a change in our culture. Guns have been present from our beginning. Semi-automatic guns have been around since the 19th century. AR-15s have been with us since the early ’60s. So what has changed? Not guns.

Blaming mass shootings on firearms completely ignores the real problems. Statistics prove that tinkering with gun laws has no effect on crime. Restricting guns will not make us safer from ourselves.

Our country was founded on personal responsibility. Are we going to pander to depravity by crying for a ban on something every time it’s used maliciously? Or are we going to try to be the people our founders envisioned?

It is okay if you don’t like guns. But think this through: We are not going to get rid of all the guns. If we are serious about saving lives, we need to look at the human element. We cannot afford to politicize this issue.

Paul Marshall

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