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February 13, 2013     Walsh County Press
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February 13, 2013
 

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FEBRUARY 13, 2013 THE PRESS PAGE 5 By: Gary Vavrosky BIRCHWOOD, Wis. -- Living out of state, I truly look forward to reading my hometown paper and your editorial column. Keep up the great work, Allison. I thought I would kindly respond to your recent ed- itorial column regarding our country&apos;s emotional Sec- ond Amendment debate. I think you would agree ed- ucating people with the facts are critical, so meaningful debate and results can be achieved. What happened in Colorado, Virginia, Connecticut, Tucson, etc. is heart wrenching and beyond horrific. How do we, as a society, fix this? Can we truly fix this? Gun control is the theory that becoming a victim is somehow morally superior to defending yourself and your family. Makes perfect sense, correct? Not to me. Perhaps the starting point is to help educate all concerned Americans about the reasons for the Second Amendment and specifically, what is an assault weapon, background checks, high capacity maga- zines, etc. Second Amendment As you mentioned, it's our Constitution's Second Amendment that guarantees the right to "keep and bear arms". The actual text reads: "A well regulated mili- tia being necessary to the security of a free state, the fight of the people to shall not be infringed". What that means has been debated and argued for decades. The Supreme Court, in 2008, ruled that Americans have a right to firearms, regardless of whether they serve in a militia. The justices also have signaled that some gun regulations could survive challenges, but they haven't resolved which ones are permissible. By example, our neighbor Mexico does not allow their citizens to own guns -- period. Weapons are legally allowed for only police officers and the mili- tary. Many Americans do not know this. Unfortu- nately, we all know too well, how poorly this is work- ing in Mexico. If we temporarily lived in Mexico, (which many Americans have second homes/condos there) we cannot legally own a weapon to protect our family from unwanted intruders, break-ins and/or the drug cartels who are responsible for vicious home in- vasions and their infamous family mass murder ram- pages. So, it appears to me those Americans calling for rescinding our Second Amendment and "making all guns illegal" have a' very weak case because this sim- ply has ricocheted in Mexico. Not to mention the credible argument and experi- ence of past government tyranny. Which brings me to the famous quote: "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun con- trol. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future." Adolf Hitler- 1935 Personally, as a father and grandfather, I am going to protect my family-- period. And, I am proud to live in a country that allows me this freedom. Now, many Americans do not understand the dif- ference between semi-automatics, full automatics and assault weapons. Let me try to defin the differences: Semi-Automatics There are all sorts O/'it'gtitomaticS. They Can be pistols, rifles, or shotgunsand they are popular sellers. They fire one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, with no need to manually move the next round into the firing chamber. That means they can fire as fast as a person can release and manually pull the trigger, so long as the gun has more ammunition at the ready. Semi-automatic weapons are popular with hunters, sport shooters and gun enthusiasts. The sale and manufacture of some semi-automatic rifles deemed to be "assault weapons" was banned for a decade. The law was initiated in 1994 and expired in 2004. As a side note: The police have confirmed the shooters used semi-automatic weapons in the Col- orado movie theater attack, in July, which killed 12 people and injured 70 and in the slaying of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school in December. Their weapons were not defined by today's defini- tion as an assault weapon. Full Automatics They are on the battlefield and show up in Holly- Chicago only restrict law-abiding citizens and they have essentially made their citizens prey, another good debating counterpoint. Background Checks Federal law requires anyone who buys a gun from ' a licensed dealer to submit to a background check. Convicted criminals and people who have been de- clared by a judge to be "mentally defective" are among My thoughts about your column 'From The those barred from buying a gun. However, what can our politicians do about the il- Editor's Desk' regarding gun control legal gun trade inAmerica? How dowe control these weapons? Unfortunately, we cannot. Just turn to our own govemment's self-inflicted "Fast and Furious" de- wood action movies, video games, etc; but fully au- this ban, because politicians feel they have to do some- bacle -- running illegal guns from the United States tomatic weapons aren't common among civilians in thing and then pat themselves on the back. Do you into Mexico. What a mess. And, it's result: One of the United States. While a semi-automatic can fire one honestly think criminals will abide by this new law? these illegal weapons was identified at the scene of bullet per trigger pull, a full automatic keeps firing bul- And, what will stop a deranged psychopath from car- Border Agent Brian Terry's murder, which coinci- lets as long as the trigger is pulled once. Full auto- rying a couple of weapons holding 10 rounds each and dentally, was only 20 minutes away from our winter matics range from the prohibition-era machine guns to additional 10 round magazines in his pockets? This home. I wonder what Border Agent Brian Terry's modem rifles, pistols or shotguns, still will inflict horrible mass carnage and death. Do family is thinking and advising our politicians to do Sales of full automatics are restricted by federal law you remember the Fort Hood army base massacre? about gun control today? -- buyers need a special permit from the Bureau ofA1- Hence, 10 rounds is not a "we fixed it" solution either. Plus, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Vio- cohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That re- Now, we can begin to see how cumbersome and lence says as many as 40 percent of all gun sales are quires an extensive background check and paying a difficult of a problem we face. completed without a background check. That's be- $200 tax. Some states and local governments prohibit Gun Owners cause sales between private gun owners and sales at private ownership of full automatics. More than a third of Americans -- 36 percent -- gun shows are exempt under federal law. Let's ask Assault Weapons says someone in their household owns a gun, accord- how our inefficient government will track these In 1994, Congress passed and President Bill Clin- ing to an Associated Press poll conducted this January, weapons. ton signed into law a ban on some semi-automatic ri- 2013.Millions use guns for hunting, sport, and target Only California and Rhode Island require back- ties and handguns that were deemed "assault shooting. I am one of those. Hunting guns include an ground checks for sales between private sellers and weapons". Defining the term was tricky then and re- array of shotguns and rifles of various types and sizes, buyers. Colorado, Illinois, New York and Oregon re- mains controversial today, including semi-automatics and the traditional bolt-ac- quire background checks for all sales at gun shows. Under that now-expired law, some new guns were tion rifles. The prey and a hunter's personal preference Three other states, Connecticut, Maryland and Penn- banned by name, including the Uzi, the AK-47 and the determine the weapon and the kind of ammunition sylvania, require such reviews for handgun sales., Colt AR- 15, which is similar to the military's standard used. President Obama has proposed a federal law l:e- issue M 16. Some people keep guns solely for protection. Car- quiring universal background checks for every new The law also covered some other semi-automatic ri- rying a concealed handgun is legal in every state but gun sale. How does this effectively address the 310 ties that are used with detachable magazines -- de- Illinois under certain conditions; for example, the gun million legal guns already out there and millions ofil- vices that hold ammunition and feed the bullets into owner might need to pass a background check first, legal weapons floating around? the firing chamber automatically. Such rifles were Some states require safety classes. Some state and lo- Summary banned only if they had two or more additional char- cal laws, including in California and New York, make Where we disagree is your statement- quote: "To- acteristics listed in the law, such as a folding stock or it difficult if not impossible to get a license to carry a day, we could fix all of America's problems by taxing a pistol grip. However, these guns were already sold concealed weapon. Illinois law bans carrying con- the hell out of bullets for ammunition not used in a to buyers before the ban went into effect and could be cealed weapons, but a federal appeals court over- warzone". Unquote legally resold, turned that law in December. The ruling is likely to be Allison, specifically, how much tax should be levied Meanwhile, manufacturers skirted the ban by pro- appealed, on ammunition to deter these insane criminals? Do you ducing similar guns under new names or making mi- In addition, Federal laws prevent the government honestly think mass murderers, insane people, drug nor design changes, such as removing a bayonet from tracking how many guns are sold every year and cartels, etc. care about the cost of ammunition to inflict mount, who buys them, so there are no definitive statistics, personal harm and carnage? And, how do you stop President Obama says he wants Congress to ban Roughly 310 million guns were legally owned or criminals from steading the guns and the highly taxed what he calls "military-style assault weapons;" but nei- available for sale in the United States in 2009, ac- ammunition you propose? ther he nor his aides have defined this term. So, it's un- cording to a study by the nonpartisan Congressional I don't believe additional "sin-taxes" will solve clear which guns would be banned. He describes his Research Service. That's about 114 million handguns, deeper societal and mental problems. plan as reinstating and strengthening the 1994 assault 110 million rifles and 86 million shotguns. Deep down I think you know this and feel the same weapon law. Specifically, what is his plan? I cannot de- And then there is Chicago. Not a single gun shop way. I believe you are frustrated because neither of us scribe it for you because he hasn't given us any can be found in the city because they are outlawed, can identify reasonable and workable solutions. Or, specifics, as of yet. Handguns were banned in Chicago for decades, until perhaps, this was a "tongue-in-cheek" comment to Incidentally, that 1994 law wouldn't have covered 2010, when the United States Supreme Court ruled provoke responses. Well it worked. You hooked me the military-looking Bushmaster .223 rifles used in the that was going too far, leading Chicago's city leaders like a blue gill -- Wisconsin "cheese head" terminal- Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., shootings, had it to settle for restrictions some describe as the closest ogy. still been in place in 2012. :they could get legally to a ban- without a ban. ' in closing, to lighten-up this dark subject, here are ' - The 1994 law did apply to another aspect of those " Despite a ontinuing legal'fiat, Illin6iVrmans'flae' ''a fait{'bfthe'Dav < ......... ...... shootings -- high capacity magazines. 'only state in the nation with no provision to let pfivaie' :Cruntryg- irls don'{retreat -- theyj'ust reload. High-Capacity Magazine citizens carry guns in public. And yet, Chicago, a city Guns have only two enemies: Rust and politicians. High capacity magazines allow a shooter using a withno civilian gun ranges and bans on BOTH assault It's always better to be judged by twelve than be semi-automatic weapon like the Bushmaster .223 to weapons and high-capacity magazines, finds itselfla- carried by six fire more bullets before pausing to reload. Police said boring to stem a flood of gun violence that contributed You may not like guns and choose not to own one. Connecticut school attack suspect Adam Lanza had to more than 500 homicides in 2012, crowning That is your fight. You might not believe in God. That several 30-round magazines with him. In the Col- Chicago as "Murder Capital of the USA". Already, is your choice. However, if someone breaks into your orado theater attack, police have said suspect James there are at least 40 killings in 2013. home the first two things you are going to do are: Call Holmes used a 100-round magazine. As, you men- So, with this evidence, why do these very tough gun someone with a gun and pray they get there in time. tioned in your editorial, Allison- Quote: "Honestly, restrictions fail to make Chicago safer? Which begs the And, my personal favorite: In the time required to what do you intend to use said gun (I think you meant next question: How will tougher gun restrictions make reach for a phone, dial 9-1-1, get an operator response, magazine) for? You aren't going hunting with it. You our nation safer if we cannot effectively address this explain the situation and wait for the responders to find would decimate a perfectly good piece of meat." Un- at the local level? you hurt or dead.., you could instead draw your quote. Lately, the Chicago police admitted to discovering weapon, scare off the intruder(s), or if needed- shoot Truth is: Nobody needs 10 bullets to kill or mutilate more guns on the streets of Chicago than in the na- the attacker(s), reload, then call 9-1-1, call your attar- the meat of a deer either, Allison. tion's two more populous cities, Los Angeles and ney, and still have the chance to be alive and well. President Obama wants to reinstate the ban on sales New York. By example, in 2012, Chicago authorities I wish I had the "fix-it" solution to avoid future of new high-capacity magazines, defined as those that seized 7,400 guns in crimes or unpermitted uses cam- senseless gun deaths, but I don't, Allison. And, neither hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. As a coun- pared with 3,285 in New York City. So, how will our do our media or politicians. try, we have had this legislation in place (1994-2004) government control illegal gun smuggling, purchase, Editor's Note: Vavrosky, who lives in Wisconsin and the results were that it did not deter or fix the crim- and usage nationwide? and winters in Arizona, is an alumnus of Park River "s inal's or insane's agenda. Yet, let's assume we reinstate With this evidence, some argue the gun laws in class of 1971. Letter to the legislature: Give more North Dakotans access to health insurance By: Tammy Osvoid CAVALIER, N.D. -- The North Dakota legislature currently has the opportunity to reduce the number of low-income families who lack ac- cess to affordable health care. As an advocate for cancer patients and survivors, I know how im- portant it is to have access to health care when you are facing a life threatening diagnosis such as cancer. North Dakotans who do not have health care coverage often skip or delay lifesaving cancer screenings and prevention opportunities. Postponing or forgoing cancer screen- ings can result in late-stage diagnosis, which can be the difference be- tween life and death. Treating a disease such as cancer is costly, and for the uninsured, the increased financial burden can result in bankruptcy. Let's give hard-working, low-income North Dakotans the opportunity to get af- fordable health care coverage through our Medicaid program, which will provide them access to life-saving preventive screenings, while reducing the number of health care related bankruptcies associated with cancer and other chronic diseases. I strongly encourage the legislature to support legislation that will provide thousands of North Dakotans access to health care coverage, to save lives and taxpayer dollars. Editor's Note: Osvold from Cavalier, ND is a Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). FREE ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS AT: DR. BREWER, GRAFTON @ 352-2450 DABY DENTISTRY, GRAFTON @ 352-0730 DR. EKMAN, LIFETIME DENTAL, PARK RIVER @ 284-7777 KERN FAMILY DENTISTRY, GRAFTON @ 352-2013 DR. LARSON & DR. BENEDA, PARK RIVER DENTAL CLINIC @ 284-6131 CALL TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE SCREENING I. Breathe00 5,iving Livc. Sa,eii,] bgoney. 7he voice, of the people. " An initiated measure approved bY North Dakota - " voters provides [unding to Welsh County Health District to diminish the toll o[ tobacco in our state by addressing the number one preventable cause o] death and disease: tobacco use. q-'fie quickest wa2 w The Spud in Thursday, Frid February 14 The Spud will be servin a Special Valentine's Day Men00 Lobster00 King Crab00 or R,egnla00} Menu plus f00fll Salad Bar qZese00vations Call 657-2200 Your source for Happy Happenings. Walsh County Press (701) 284-6333