Enough gun laws already

Published 7:34 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

I would like to comment on the editorial in last week’s Smithfield Times as well as a letter to the editor on the same subject. There have been several studies showing that only a fraction of a percent of criminals acquire their weapons at gun shows. They are usually either stolen or purchased from an acquaintance. The vast majority of vendors at gun shows are licensed dealers adhering to strict federal and state regulations. Also, Virginia’s instant background check system is one of the first to be implemented in the country and was the model for the national system.

The assault weapons ban of 1994 outlawed certain firearms basically based on a weapon’s looks, not how it functions. True “assault weapons” are select fire fully automatic weapons, which have been heavily restricted for decades. The sunset clause was included so that the ban could be killed if it was determined to be ineffective, which it was.

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Most of the “universal background checks” being proposed include language that would make criminals out of both parties if, for example, an individual loaned a gun to a hunting buddy without the transfer being processed by a licensed dealer when the gun is loaned as well as when it is returned. There are already many gun laws on the books that would put criminals behind bars for long periods of time if they were only enforced. Chicago, Washington D.C. and the state of California all have some oƒ the most stringent gun laws, yet they have some of the highest crime rates in the country.

As for the reader’s opinion that the 2nd Amendment is obsolete and misconstrued, maybe he feels that the 1st and all the other amendments are obsolete as well. After all, many of them were written by our founding fathers around the same timeframe. The recent US Supreme Court decisions should clear up any misunderstandings on the matter.

Mark White