Commentary

Editorial: Elected officials must stop the gun madness

This morning’s Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com gets the madness in our country from the last few days just about right.

Here’s the conclusion to “Mass shootings. The can happen here. Common sense action is needed now”:

It just as easily could have been revelers on Glenwood South in Raleigh; families at a Walmart in Charlotte or; Peach Festival attendees in Candor. It could have been the General Assembly where just last week a man nearly made it through security with a handgun and extra ammo.

It will be a few days before Republicans wake from their NRA-funded malaise. Then they’ll fall back on their favorite talking points:

  • The Constitution guarantees us the right to own guns.
  • Guns don’t kill people, it’s the person that uses the gun that kills people.

We support the 2nd Amendment — the right of Americans to be armed for basic self defense and sporting (hunting and target shooting) activities. That’s what the Constitution intended.

But we oppose the notion that anyone needs or should possess weapons of mass destruction. They should be banned.

This is not a radical view. Walmart, Dicks Sporting Goods, L.L. Bean, Kroger and REI all have stopped selling these weapons – as well as even air guns and toys that look like them. Walmart has even raised the age for gun and ammunition purchases from 18 to 21.

As for the mantra that it’s the people that do the shooting that are the problem, not their guns — that’s not the point.

The point is that powerful automatic weaponry can kill many people very quickly. There is no legal or moral reason that those weapons should be available….

North Carolina’s congressional delegation needs to be in the forefront of support for common-sense laws that will keep these weapons of mass destruction out of civilian hands and away from the public. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis need to abandon their partisan orthodoxy and back the common sense House-passed bill to require background checks for nearly all gun purchases or exchanges. This is a small, but important step in the correct direction.

The state legislature should show it’s as concerned with public safety as it is with currying favor with the NRA and fire arms manufacturers. Pass responsible legislation to require a background check BEFORE the purchase of rifles. Prohibit the sale and possession of large capacity ammunition magazines. There is no need for these – other than trouble. Require gun owners notify law enforcement when a gun is lost or stolen.

These are common sense steps that don’t infringe on anyone’s rights

Don’t let the anger go. It is time to get something done!

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