Reasonable regulations


Are guns more about emotion than fact?

I ask that question because emotion is an irrational basis to establish policy decisions and has led to harmful policy and decisions on both individual and national policy levels.

Examples of emotional decision-making are common in marriage and friendship types of relationships, in working and business relationships, in policy decisions such as women’s roles in the business world, in gay rights areas, and in understanding people who look or live in different cultures and belief systems. Lives have been lost and wars started because of emotional (irrational) decision-making coming out of emotions such as fear, anxiety, distrust, greed, prejudice, control, etc.

I understand for some, guns make some people feel safer and/or more powerful. Military knock-offs with anti-personal type munitions and large clip sizes may heighten that feeling for some.

The next questions are: “Do guns in fact make the public safer?” and “Do bigger more deadly guns increase safety for people and the general public?”

The answer is no if the research is looked at as a whole. Even the study that the NRA cites as proof that increase concealed carry permits lower crime is not validated when the data used are looked at by other researchers of equal professional status and credentials.

What they find is that the guns have no provable effect on public safety.

It is also a fact that we are one of the most violent countries in the industrial world, and yet we have enough guns owned by citizens now (excluding the U.S. military) for every man, woman and child.

On a typical day in the U.S., 33 people are murdered by guns, and 50 die in gun suicides. States with lax gun laws have higher rates of handgun killings and of fatal shootings of police officers.

The most common groups in this country to become victims of gun violence are: wives and girlfriends of men who own guns, inner-city African-American men, and people who suffer from clinical depression.

It should also be noted that New York City chose to advocate and enforce strict gun regulation, and is now considered one of the safest large cities in the country, according to current research.

It is clear that a balance needs to be found for hunters, personal defense for some, and reducing gun deaths (public safety as supported by overall research).

The Constitution and Second Amendment, according to court rulings, do not prohibit regulation of gun ownership or munitions.

It seems to me that reasonable regulations include universal background checks, clip capacity limits, and gun lethalness limits. No policy is 100 percent effective any more than speed limits are, but reasonable regulation has proven to improve public safety and save lives.

For me, saving lives is the point, particularly when we lose so many every year when compared to most other countries in the world.

Gilbert Engel

Niagara, Wis