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Letter: Doing the Right Thing on Guns

To the Editor:

The issue of gun control has been in the news lately, with everyone from President Obama to a British TV host voicing their opinion since the tragic shooting in Newton, Conn. First of all I want to point out that, according to his own logic, President Obama is partially responsible for the shooting in Newton, CT. During the 2012 presidential debates, the president passed on the idea of enacting any meaningful gun control laws, despite the fact that just months prior the awful Aurora theater shooting claimed over 50 victims. If more gun control is the solution to these crimes as the Obama administration is now saying, then the president failed in his primary duty to protect the American people by not acting on this earlier. This was recently pointed out in the New York Times. And in other news, pigs are now flying.

I have a more simple approach to this issue, since the gun control debate simply encourages more Americans to go out and purchase more guns (in record amounts I might add after the administration announced support for gun control laws). Here's my solution—stop trying to control the American people. The Second Amendment, just like the First Amendment, is a part of the DNA of these United States. Gun ownership runs in our blood, not just the ownership and use of guns, but the fact that our government, from the very beginning, trusted us to own the same weapons that they had. Just like the freedom of speech, our Founding Fathers saw gun ownership as an essential freedom, and necessary to protect all of our other freedoms from the cloak of tyranny. We are a special people, a special nation, as a result of our freedoms. Any effort to restrict those freedoms will destroy our national character.

We have to remind ourselves, the freedoms we enjoy can be used for good or evil, it is our choice. Hitler used speech as a weapon that led to the murder of millions. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, all had to convince others to follow in their evil intentions before they began their campaigns of human slaughter. And I would point out in all of these mass slaughters, guns were hardly the chief weapon but rather other cruel tactics like starvation. Should we then restrict free speech, since it has led to such horrific crimes?

Mr. president and members of Congress, trust the American People. We know what's best for ourselves and our country. We have the Constitution to guide us. Don't try to restrict it. Do some soul searching on why the Founding Fathers trusted us with our guns just like our speech and religion, and do the right thing. It's been a long time since I've felt the government trusted me, I'd like to think it's still possible.

Tim Halisky

Great Falls