Owning guns is a right, and also a responsibility

Dec. 21, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

To the Editor:

Friday's tragedy in Newton, Conn., has compelled me to voice my opinion. There are some issues that I haven’t seen or heard addressed.

1. How did this man gain access to his mother's firearms? My answer: Proper firearms safety rules were not observed. It is every law-abiding gun owner's responsibility to lock them away when not in use, especially with children around and/or anyone else who you don't want handling them. From the info I've heard, I surmise that the mother did not lock up her guns properly, or the young man knew where she kept the keys/combination.

2. Further reports indicated that the young man had mental illness issues. Well, what do you know? What did you expect? Just like all the other shootings ... . Then, all the gun-phobes exclaim, “We need more gun control!” No. What we need is to enforce the laws already on the books. Special emphasis needs to be concentrated on preventing the seriously mentally ill from obtaining firearms in the first place, be it at gun shops, shows or private sales. ... As always, criminals will get their guns anyway, and it is the law-abiding citizens who suffer. The reason this country is in the mess we're in now is our history isn't being taught enough. If it weren’t for firearms and the Second Amendment, this country wouldn't exist.

3. A person who would kill his mother and then slaughter innocent young children to me is not crazy — but purely evil. The only thing we can do about evil is to pray.

4. Finally, those of you who saw 48 Hours on CBS Saturday night will recall that a relative described the mother as a “doomsday prepper.” Some people believe something bad is going to happen this coming Friday. It’s our right to keep and bear arms, whether it be one or 1,000. It is personal responsibility that seems to be lacking today. People play the blame game much too often. I don't think the mother was really a “bad mom,” but she just didn't pay attention to her son, and no one heeded the warming flags.

I urge all gun owners to read safety rules from time to time. It is our responsibility, for when that bullet travels down the barrel, there’s no bringing it back.

Paul Lucas III

Sanford