[Sayma-Discuss] NY Times letter on guns

Mike Shell bright_crow at mindspring.com
Fri Jan 18 11:01:48 EST 2013


Friends,

I have just submitted a letter to The New York Times in response to this letter from Theodore S. Voelker:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/opinion/what-should-be-done-about-guns.html
  To the Editor:
  "Gun Reform for a Generation" (editorial, Jan. 17) holds out hope for an attempt at sanity in the effort to control gun violence. 

  I would happily register as a non-gun-owning citizen who is qualified to use a weapon accurately and safely. This would be no intrusion on my civil liberties. It would simply note that I have been trained in the safe use of firearms (in my military days). If there were a reasonably accurate and functioning national database, it might catch some mentally ill people who applied for or had already registered for their guns. 

  No one is trying to take guns away from those who feel they are needed. But government has every right to know who has what guns and to what use the guns and ammunition may be put. 

  As a veteran, I trust our military and our civilian police to intelligently and openly protect me from "all enemies, foreign and domestic." They have guns, have gone through security checks and know how to use them safely. It's past time for "gun reform for a generation." 

  THEODORE S. VOELKER
  New York, Jan. 17, 2013

Here is my letter:

  To the Editor:

  Theodore S. Voelker's willingness to be registered as "qualified to use a weapon accurately and safely" (Letters, 1/18/2013) helps us properly redirect our focus from guns to people.

  Rather than debate types of guns or gun owners, adapt our national model for the legal and financial accountability of car drivers and car owners. License qualified gun users and gun owners, making them legally liable for injuries or damage caused by accidental or deliberate misuse of guns.

  Gun owners would then have legal and financial incentive to control who has access to their guns. Gun users would face penalties similar to those of vehicle drivers, if their use of these tools caused harm.

  Make human accountability for guns, not gun control, the focus of government intervention.

  Assurance of accountability is why we consent to be governed.

  Michael Austin Shell
  Jacksonville, FL Jan. 18, 2013
I will also send a version of this message to my Congressional representatives.

Blessings,
Mike
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