Rational way to approach gun ownership needed
TO THE EDITORS:
As to the debate over gun control, let us look at another debate: auto safety. Increasing auto deaths resulted in a cry that something be done to reduce these deaths. Never once in this discussion did I see or hear the suggestion that autos be banned. Rather, the discussion centered on how to make cars safer and how drivers can be made more responsible.
As a result, the death rate was reduced from 36,254 in 1994 to 30,196 in 2010. This reduction was attained in two ways. There was the addition of seatbelts, airbags, better tires and improvements in design. Also contributing to this decline was legislative action requiring greater responsibility on the part of the driver. These included laws requiring seatbelt use, drunk-driving legislation, restrictuions on cellphones while driving and laws governing young drivers. Through rational efforts on the part of government, police and the public, this reduction in this has occurred.
If the subject of guns could be approached in the same rational way, Americans could keep their guns and at the same time reduce the death toll by guns. If the NRA and other gun enthusiasts would stop stonewalling any effort to gun safety, progress could be achieved.
For example, every auto is registered and none have been confiscated. Every driver must pass a competency test; every gun user should be required to do the same. In most states, autos must be inspected. Guns should have some similar inspection.
Let us all engage in a reasoned, rational discussion of gun ownership, use, and safety.
Frank A. Nickel