In my youth I was on my high school rifle team, and as soon as I was legally old enough I got my pistol permit. I was never much of a hunter but I did enjoy range and target shooting. At the same time I've always thought that the NRA catch phrase "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

The reality is that people use guns to kill other people and to add insult to injury it happens here in America more than in any other developed nation on earth. I don't want to shock or upset any Rabid Gun Owners, the GOP or the NRA but they need to get a grip. The Second Amendment isn't cut in stone; it's part of the Constitution, which is a living document.

The 18th Amendment was a disaster and it was repealed, and the Patriot Act signed into law after 9/11 suspended all or part of the rights enumerated in the third through seventh amendments. In Port Arthur, Australia, in southeastern Tasmania, on April 28 and 29, 1996, 35 people were killed and 23 wounded by a man with an assault rifle. It took the Australian government 12 days to act. All military type weapons were banned, an effective buy-back program was enacted, a national registry for fast and accurate background checks was implemented and all firearms had to be registered. They have not had a mass killing since.

We don't have to touch the Second Amendment at all; all we needed to do is something similar to what the Australians have done. Before the advent of the assault rifle we all seemed to get along just fine with the rifles, shotguns and handguns that we took to the range and to the field. With the gun violence and carnage taking place in America today our senators and congress people are criminally negligent in their unwillingness to act. How many more people have to die, how many more Sandy Hooks have to happen?

Ernie DeCaro

Auburn

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