LETTER: Gun rights not unconditional

Farm Forum

In an April 14 letter to the editor, Marvin Hansen wrote, “The anti-gunners and liberal media are probably as much responsible for the latest shootings as anyone by sensationalizing the shootings for the copycat mentality.”

Surely the reporting of shootings in the news does influence copycats. But did the media sensationalize? If one does judge that the reporting was sensationalized, according to Mr. Hansen it was done by the liberal media. In broadcasting, it seems that Fox News is the only outlet that conservatives have not accused of being liberal. Does he really believe that Fox covers shootings in a lesser manner than any of the other news services?

Mr. Hansen wrote, “Statistics show that the cities and states of the union in which the guns have been taken away from the law-abiding citizen is where the biggest share of the crimes are committed.”

With that statement it seems that Mr. Hansen himself is engaged in a bit of sensationalism. What states of the union have taken away guns from law-abiding citizens?

I am a firm believer in the adage, “Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns,” but I don’t think we are entitled to unconditional gun rights. We cannot entirely prevent shootings, but some common sense laws could hinder them. If making background checks mandatory stopped just one slaughter would it not be worthwhile? Limiting magazine capacity would serve to diminish casualties. What legitimate purpose is there for 30 round magazines?

What many of these shootings have in common is they are committed by mentally unstable people. Changes need to be made and better treatment put into practice to care for them.

Charles Snyder

Apple Valley, Minn.