Don’t punish legit firearms owners for acts of criminals

Over the last several years there have been many senseless mass shootings.

This is tragic every time it happens, and I grieve with all of the parents and siblings who have lost loved ones in these senseless acts of violence.

However, in so many of those shootings, the signs were present well in advance.

After the fact, most people, especially those who have no factual knowledge regarding details of the shooting read the sensationalized reports in the newspapers “reporters” misrepresent so many of the facts regarding firearms, and this appears to be due to both a lack of factual knowledge about firearms, and a desire to shout “fire” in a crowd by spreading false information.

In so many of these cases, we’ve been bombarded with terms that are as foreign to the so-called experts who write these stories and preach about the danger of firearms with no basis in fact.

They bandy terms like “military-style assault weapons”, “automatic weapons,” and other technical terms that they don’t understand the fundamental meaning of.

They report that in the shooting, the shooter used an “automatic military-type assault weapon,” and often it turns out that it was a semiautomatic pistol.

This does not reduce the impact of the tragic event, but the cry suddenly goes out to ban all guns. This is not the solution, and any sane person must admit that if they banned all guns, only the criminals would have them.

That I will leave as fodder for another time.

Now I’d like to ask you, the reader, to test your knowledge of firearms using the two pictures in this letter. You see two rifles numbered 1 and 2.

Q: Which rifle is more lethal?

A: Neither. Both use the same bullets, both have the same barrel length and muzzle velocity of the bullet when it exits the barrel.

Q: Which one is an assault rifle? If you said No. 2, you are incorrect.

A: Neither is an assault rifle.

With the exception of appearance, these are essentially the same rifle.

They both are semi-automatic firing, both use .22 Caliber bullets, both will hold up to 10 bullets in New York State if you are obeying the NY SAFE ACT signed into law after a knee-jerk reaction to the Sandy Hook tragedy.

I’m going to guess that most of you probably answered incorrectly to both questions.

That is, of course, unless you are among the millions of legal, law-abiding gun owners and gun enthusiasts in this country.

Most of us who have had military or rifle team training understand these details intimately. We also know the danger of firearms in the wrong hands.

Yes, I get it! None of us wants another unthinkable tragedy. And, to be as honest as is possible, nobody hates war and killing more than the soldier.

Yet, I belong to several veterans’ organizations, and practically all of us own firearms. Many of us go hunting during the appropriate seasons and bring home food for consumption.

There is no ‘killing for fun’ among hunters. I don’t hunt because killing an animal unnecessarily is distasteful to me.

But many of us enjoy a trip to the range to hone our skills – there is as much satisfaction and pride in accuracy as there is pride for a mathematician solving a complex theoretical equation.

You can’t rationalize it, and it just is. There are millions of legal, legitimate gun owners living among us, most anonymously.

They should not be hamstrung by the reactionary politicians and naysayers among us. Instead, how about requiring the FBI, ATF, Homeland Security and all of the police forces to share their information in a timely manner, act on it in accordance with the plethora of existing gun laws, something that may very well have avoided these many tragic shooting events.

Don’t bash the NRA- they promote only safe ownership and handling of firearms.

And did you notice – I use the word “firearms,” “guns” or “rifles” throughout my letter. These are not weapons in the hands of legal gun owners.

Only the criminal or the deranged individual makes them “weapons!”

Eric Spinner

New Hyde Park

About the author

The Island Now

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