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We do not need more guns in America, they are not the answer to the massacres that have been inflicted on our fellow citizens. The ban on assault weapons expired in 2004; we need to bring the ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons back.

In Columbine, Colo., in 1999, 13 students died, one teacher died and 21 people were injured. During the 2011 Virginia Tech massacre, 32 people killed and 17 were injured. In 2011 in Tucson, Ariz., six died and 13 were wounded, including Gabby Giffords. In 2012 in Aurora, Colo., 12 died in a movie theater. Also in 2012, two died and one was injured in a mall; more carnage would have occurred except his gun jammed. And in Newtown, Conn., 20 children ages 6 and 7, and six adults were killed in school.

The shootings all occurred and the number of people were killed because the gunman had access to weapons, particularly automatic/semi-automatic assault weapons that can kill multiple people in seconds. Even if an armed guard was at the scene of the crime it is too late for the victims; in several of these cases there was an armed guard on the scene. If a guard is posted to every school, mall and movie theater, the killing would still continue.

What will the NRA propose next; should we have armed guards at nursery schools, churches, the grocery store? The insanity of more guns as an answer must stop.

The ban on assault weapons must be brought back. It has been proved over and over again that fewer guns create a less violent society. We need fewer guns, less violent movies, television shows and video games.

Adam Lanza, the gunman at Newtown, used a military assault rifle and he carried hundreds of bullets in high capacity magazines as well as two 9 mm semi-automatic handguns, enough firepower to kill everyone in the school. All of the guns were legally purchased by his mother, Nancy. Nancy was his first victim shot at home while still in her pajamas.

Why does anyone need that many guns? Are we living in a war zone in the United States of America?

People have argued with me that it is not the guns, it is the crazy people. My answer to that is that a crazy person without a gun cannot kill multiple people in seconds. You cannot kill that many people in a matter of seconds with a knife or a baseball bat. I use the baseball bat as an analogy as someone told me if they outlaw guns, what next, baseball bats? That is like comparing apples to guns; it make no sense at all. With a semi-automatic or automatic weapon there is no time to react or recover. Single shotguns have to be reloaded, giving people time to escape or police to arrive.

People have also said that the Second Amendment says we have the right to bear arms; this is not an accurate quote, it is only one small piece taken out of context. The amendment states: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” We have the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, which act as a well-regulated militia. It is not 1791 where individual citizens could be called out of their homes in the middle of night. The amendment was written so we could protect the states; the United States is a free country now. We also did not have assault rifles when it was written.

We can also learn from Australia. In April 28, 1996, a gunman in Port Arthur opened fire at a beachside resort, killing 35 people and wounding 23 people. The citizens of Australia and the government enacted sweeping gun control measures 12 days later. Eighteen years later the results are clear; the gun control worked extremely well. There has not been one mass shooting in Australia since the gun control passed. In the decade before the gun control there had been 11 mass shootings. Part of the gun control was a massive buyback of all firearms in Australia. The new gun laws prohibited private sales and required all weapons be individually registered to the owners. Gun buyers also had to have a real reason for buying a gun. There was not a rise in other violent crimes. We can make this work in America so that we can all be safer.

Many groups have tried to refute the evidence that fewer guns make a safer society, as some people in America will try to do. Those groups are generally backed by gun advocate groups trying to skew the evidence.

I hope the ill-conceived logic that more guns are better will be rejected by the citizens of America. I hope our leaders will work quickly to ensure that this type of legislation goes through and does not get stopped. The evidence is clear we are safer with fewer guns, not more. God bless America.



Laura Kamosa, Piney Point