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Ban Assault Rifles

I have numerous friends and relatives who are avid hunters. None of them uses an AR-15 when he or she hunts. I know a number of people who keep a firearm in the home for protection. None of them keep an AR-15. According to Wikipedia, the AR-15 is a “lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle” first built as a ”selective fire assault rifle” for the US armed forces. Simply put, there is no legitimate reason why a private citizen should own one.

Efforts to ban such assault rifles are inevitably met with derision by the gun fondlers who run the National Rifle Association. They spout simplistic slogans like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” This, of course, ignores the fact that if James Holmes had been denied access to an AR-15, he never would have been able to shoot 70 people, killing 12 of them. Certainly, there would have been carnage in the Colorado movie theater, but some lives, at least, would have been spared.

It is time for politicians to stand up to the gun lobby. No one is looking to ban hunting rifles, or the simple weapons kept for home protection. Ban assault weapons. It is as simple as that. To paraphrase Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The right to bear arms does not include the right to open fire in a crowded theater.”

> Joe Gerken, Buffalo

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