Opinion: The arguments for totally unfettered gun rights are growing tiresome

Opinion: The arguments for totally unfettered gun rights are growing tiresome

Guest columnist Recent letters to the editor provide perfect examples of why we can’t have a reasonable conversation in this state, or country, about gun control. I am a progressive, Democrat gun owner who, like many of my Republican acquaintances who may or may not own guns, believes we are way overdue in legally addressing gun violence. For the sake of discussion, let’s compare guns with opioids. Like guns, dangerous and addictive pain killers are not intrinsically good or bad. On one hand, they provide relief to those suffering from serious injuries or surgeries, but they have also caused physical and emotional suffering and destroyed millions of lives. I’ve never heard anyone suggest they be made completely illegal. But they are strictly controlled by our government because, while they themselves — like guns — don’t wreak havoc, the decisions made by those who possess them do. As one writer pointed out, guns can and should be used for defense and recreation. It’s already been decided that handguns can’t be banned, and the same is probably true for rifles. So why should anyone other than trained law enforcement or military personnel be guaranteed the right to own and use a weapon that fires more rounds, more quickly, than necessary for those purposes? I will never use a gun to hurt or kill anyone, and I believe that the vast majority of gun owners won’t either, but, like opioids, firearms need some level of control and monitoring to minimize the risk […]

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