It appears the vast majority of Americans have come to realize that we badly need sensible gun control in this country. Last year, according to a report, guns killed 10,728 people in the U.S. The country with the second-highest number killed last year was Israel, with 58 deaths. Japan was third with 48. A recent poll, conducted by an independent and well respected pollster, revealed that 52% of Americans now support stricter gun control laws. What we learned from that poll is not totally unexpected. The Sandy Hook Elementary School mass murders clearly ignited a national discussion on gun safety, one that is long overdue, and folks are finally demanding action. The following are some of the significant findings from the poll:
• 56% support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons.
• 56% support a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than ten bullets.
• 92% support requiring background checks for all gun buyers.
These numbers clearly indicate that Americans are ready for reasonable gun control even though some key members of Congress seem not to have gotten the message. Perhaps the most significant finding from the survey is from American households that own guns. From that group the poll revealed that:
• 91% support background checks for all gun buyers
• 52% support a ban on assault weapons
• 45% support the ban on the sale of high capacity magazines
All of the above positions are contrary to the public pronouncements by NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre. His allegiance is clearly to the gun manufacturers and not to rank-and-file NRA members. LaPierre has made a number of illogical statements concerning the current situation in this county. The more he talks, the more NRA members realize that LaPierre is hurting them. No longer is LaPierre protecting the 2nd Amendment right for citizens to own guns. Instead, he is speaking for and protecting those who make and sell assault rifles and ammunition. The time has come for reasonable gun control that makes sense.
I believe members of Congress – once they start listening to the American people – will pass the needed legislation. The obvious place to start is with universal background checks. We must then go on to enact a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Passage of those items would protect the American people and would do nothing to keep citizens from owning handguns, shotguns, and rifles, which are the weapons that should be protected under the 2nd Amendment. The time has come for Congress to take action.
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