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As a gun owner who grew up in a family of hunters, I cannot — and will not — join the parade of whiners who think the answer to increasing gun violence is more laws outlawing ownership of weapons by law-abiding citizens.
Those who commit such crimes do so most often with weapons they illegally obtained. The current rush towards new gun laws came as a result of of the young man who killed elementary students and teachers at a small-town school in Connecticut. He used an assault-style weapon he stole from his mother.
Of course, in some cases, the murderers used weapons they obtained legally through the system, but in too many cases because they were mental cases who escaped detection.
Which bring us to the one idea of increased government action that may have merit — a tightening of investigations of those who obtain such weapons. But while that might stop an incident or two, it will not bring an end to gun-related violence by criminals and criminals are still the ones who used weapons to take the most lives of others.
Increasing the restrictions of gun purchases by law-abiding citizens will not, by itself, put an end to gun violence by those who routinely break the law. As long as the American justice system allows criminals to escape serious punishment for breaking the law the problem will continue.
The irony of the gun control debate is that — in the end — the final decision on whether or not the government will exercise more questionable restrictions on whether or not law-abiding citizens can exercise their right to own weapons of their choice will be made by a government body composed of routine law breakers: the Congress of the United States.
Various members of the House and Senate have long records of skirting the law. The current Congress includes members with records of spousal abuse, writers of bad checks, opportunists who have revealed classified information for personal or political gain, serials liars, adulterers and practitioners of illegal political and/or business practices.
Want examples? Democratic Congressman Jim Moran of Alexandria has a record of spousal abuse and involvement in bar fights. The personal fortune of former Presidential candidate and longtime Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona comes from an liquor business tied to organized crime.
The list goes on and on. A few years ago, Capitol Hill Blue found that in the then-current Congress, 29 members had been arrested for spousal abuse, seven had been charged with fraud, 19 had written bad checks and many others had bankrupted business or defrauded partners or associates.
So how can we trust a collection of crooks, con-artists and thieves to come up with a solution for ending violence by criminals?