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The problem is the person, not the gun

Jan 10, 2013 - Dennis Koppenhafer, Shoshoni


Have to respond to the article in your Dec. 27 edition by Betty Starks Case regarding gun control. I too deplore the deaths of 20 children and six adults in Newtown. This is the emotional response for the majority of us. Intellectually, though, I cannot agree with her call for us to ban semi-automatic rifles that look like military rifles. She refers to them as "assault rifles," but obviously doesn't know that an assault rifle by definition of the U.S. government is a "Rifle that is selectable between semiautomatic and fully automatic or burst fire." The so called "assault rifle" that many people own is no more than a semi-automatic rifle that looks similar to a real assault rifle. Looks don't make it so. It is no different operationally than any semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that millions of Americans own for plinking, hunting or self- protection. She is probably related to someone that owns or has owned one.

Her ignorance of the basics tell me her argument is based solely on her emotional state due to the loss of those 26 people. I wish she were as emotional about the 2,136 children aged 0-14 killed in auto accidents in 2003 (latest figures I could find from the National Center for Health Statistics). Of that number 209 were killed as passengers in vehicles driven by drunk drivers.

Where is her call to outlaw alcohol? Oops, we tried that with prohibition and it didn't work. What about outlawing automobiles themselves? Ridiculous idea, isn't it. The problem isn't the gun or alcohol, automobile, knife, baseball bat or any item that will cause the death of a child or adult.

She says her mother was born on 12/20 and would be saddened and disgusted by people speaking out to protect their right to own this type firearm. I know a person that was born on 9/11. 3,497 people were killed that day. The basic means of destruction was by aircraft hijacked by evil men using box cutters. I know of no one that called for the banning of aircraft or box cutters. We as a nation did however in our grief and emotional state allow our government to pass the Homeland Security Act. Look at what that has given us, besides a false sense of security. It has provided another multi-billion dollar federal agency, strip searches of children and elderly and overall a huge degradation of our personal liberties. Very sad.

Jesus Christ taught us to love one another, but as long as this Earth exists evil will exist as well. Her comment that an assault rifle owner might think Jesus would have lived longer if he had owned one is truly idiotic. Jesus was born to die just as he did, and nothing short of God changing his mind could have changed that.

I sincerely hope that the citizens of the United States are smarter that Betty. Emotionalism is fine in its place, but should not enter the arena when passing laws that could easily cause our loss of liberty. This country was founded by men and women who were willing and had the means to fight a despotic government. Gun control advocates would sell us down the river just because they hate an object.

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