No Need For More Gun Laws

Posted: February 27, 1992

I have just read Al Barkins' Guest Opinion, "Making our streets safe," in which he expresses his views on gun control.

He starts off OK, but he goes downhill rapidly after the first three or so paragraphs. He appears to be a fairly intelligent person honestly looking for a middle ground on gun control. He states that the National Rifle Association is "right on" when it states that the myriad state laws regulating gun control haven't made a significant dent in this carnage. Yet he proposes more laws against the sportsmen.

When will people get off sportsmen's back? We do not need new laws! Enforce the many laws now on the books! Punish the hoodlums who abuse gun ownership! I do not believe we have problems with our sportsmen; why punish them? A person doesn't take a $3,400 over-and-under trap gun out to rob a Wawa. The trap shooter, skeet shooter, match shooter, hunter and plinker are not the problem.

Mr. Barkin's first point says it all. He writes: Consider the reasons for owning a gun. We simply enjoy owning them and using them. Is it so wrong to enjoy owning a gun and using it properly? Why do non-sportsmen insist we give up our guns? We don't ask you to give up your golf clubs, tennis racquets or whatever you do to enjoy yourself. How about owning a twin turbo Corvette that goes 200 mph-plus? If you own such a machine and use it properly why should anyone have the right to demand that you keep it on a race course? If you abuse the horsepower and speed on the highway, you should receive a ticket. But I shouldn't get a ticket just because I own a similar car.

Do you agree? Then why take my gun because some nut shoots someone in Texas? Hang that sucker. Don't mess with me!

Mr. Barkin claims it is time for a radical change, a totally new approach. I agree. Try punishing those who abuse gun ownership; pass no more laws against sportsmen - we really are nice people.

One of the reasons sportsmen are so paranoid when new controls are mentioned is Mr. Barkin's conclusion: "The first step is to remove all guns and ammunition from houses everywhere and make it illegal to have such weapons on one's person or in the home." Now where are we going to store these weapons? Who pays for this? Who buys the land and puts up the buildings for the millions of sportsmen, assuming they would comply - which they would not I assure you.

We as sportsmen are getting tired of all the cockamamie laws and proposals that do not address the main issue and do not stop crime.

At the risk of repeating myself, enforce the laws already on the books!

Washington, D.C. has the nation's most stringent gun control laws. It also leads the nation in homicide by firearms. Doesn't this tell you something?

Do you think for one minute the hoodlums will give up their guns because it is against the law to have them? They use them now - convicted felons, three- time losers. They have and use firearms to commit robberies now! It is against the law for them to own firearms, let alone use them. Tighten up on the abusers, not the sportsmen.

Mr. Barkin is very naive thinking this plan will do anything to rid our streets of the millions of unregulated weapons.

Read Mr. Barkin's opinion. I don't see that he advocates punishment for the felons who abuse firearms. He just wants more restrictions placed on the law- abiding citizen!


Readers are welcome to submit proposed "Guest Opinion" columns to Editorial Dept., Daily News, P.O. Box 7788, 400 N. Broad St., Phila., Pa. 19101, or fax to (215) 854-5691.

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