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Boonville Daily News - Boonville, MO
  • Kent Bush: Compromise must be reached on gun laws

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  • Americans dont want a solution.
    Working together, one could be found. But no one will work together, and no solution will be found to the problem of repeated gun violence that produces indescribable tragedies in our country every few months.
    We rarely talk about it. We certainly never do anything about it.
    We had a presidential election in which no candidate even discussed gun violence or how to stop it.
    And it hasnt stopped. It wont stop.
    Gun rights activists wont give an inch. They are taught to believe that somehow keeping a Connecticut teacher from having permits on several guns - including an assault rifle - and enough ammunition to kill 27 people with very little effort would somehow jeopardize their rights to kill a deer or protect their families with a handgun.
    Those in favor of gun control refuse to understand that reasonable laws can be passed that would still leave real Second Amendment rights intact.
    Guns arent the problem. But they are tools used by crazy people to do crazy things because they are too accessible.
    Both sides of this debate will man their battle stations on either extreme of the political spectrum and more and more psychos will grab their guns and walk right between them on their way to our nations next bloodbath.
    Failing to have this debate right now is not respectful to the victims of the latest mass shooting - it only preserves a status quo that we should have shattered years ago to prevent this from happening to them.
    Its not too early to have the gun control discussion. Its too late.
    We have spent decades watching news reports flood the airwaves after a gunman goes on a rampage. The vast majority of these guns are obtained legally.
    This gunman took a legally owned assault rifle from his mothers stash and killed people with ease.
    He had to look no further than his own home to steal an arsenal. He didnt have to find a black market gun dealer.
    His mother was a gun enthusiast, so he had easy access. Her enthusiasm for guns probably waned when she saw her son pointing one at her.
    We have to be reasonable. Guns arent the problem. Crazy people with access to guns are. We need to make it more difficult for this to happen again.
    We have to make sure that assault rifles are not accessible to anyone outside the military. We have to limit the number of bullets a handgun clip can carry. No civilian needs to shoot a dozen rounds per second or fire off 30 shots without reloading. No civilian needs armor-piercing bullets.
    Page 2 of 2 - Doing nothing is giving tacit approval to mass shootings.
    I dont care if you are a card-carrying member of the NRA or a gun-hating liberal who wants cops to carry only batons. The time is now to get to the table and join the discussion.
    We cant stop horrible things from happening. With or without guns, horrific acts will shock our sensibilities.
    But we can do everything possible to make the incidents less devastating and less frequent. Both sides need to come together to make it happen.
    Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta, Kan., Gazette.

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