Banning features does not make guns safer
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 3:58 pm

To the Editor:

What part of “Congress shall not infringe” does Judy Toporcer (Feb. 6 -12) not understand? Every law that infringes on a person’s right, to own a gun, infringes the second amendment. It’s just that people don’t have much respect for the Constitution in general anymore, except maybe the third amendment, which never gets violated.

In fact, people ARE talking about taking away hunting rifles, because all of the features that make an assault weapon an assault weapon are minor. The muzzle flash suppressor just blows the flash out to the sides. The barrel shroud just keeps you from burning yourself. The pistol grip just makes firing more ergonometric.

The adjustable stock just allows a man and a woman to fire the same gun because it can be adjusted to fit them.

The trigger fires just one bullet with every pull, just like a hunting rifle. The magazine is the same size as comes standard with hunting rifles.

None of these things improve your aim. None of these things allow you to fire faster. None of these things allow you to kill more people at a time. They just make the gun a little more comfortable and safe to use.

Take these features away, and you have a hunting rifle, which is still a killing machine. If you want to ban assault weapons because they scare you, then you are being irrational (fears are usually so). If you want to ban assault weapons because they can be used to kill people, then you want to ban hunting rifles as well because there is only a minor difference.

But even if you did ban all hunting rifles, practically no lives would be saved, because rifles are responsible for only 3 percent of homicides. What you really want to ban are handguns. But Cuomo’s law doesn’t even attempt to ban handguns.

Not an NRA member. Not a gun owner.

Russell Nelson, Potsdam