‘False and misleading’ gun column

To the editor:

I find it quite disturbing that you would let an article, such as Brad Cook’s, be written in your publication (“It’s time for gun controls,” March 2-15 NH Business Review). There were so many false and misleading statements that it should never have been allowed to be published as written. Just a few of these examples:

1) He first gives his opinion of what the 2nd Amendment means in spite of what the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled.

2) He purports to know what was in the minds of the people who drafted the Bill of Rights. I did not know he was there or had talked to the drafters.

3) Several times he uses the terms AR-15 and automatic weapon as one and the same. As a former member of the National Guard, I certainly hope he knows the difference between an automatic and semi-automatic weapon. The AR-15 and a myriad of other rifles, shotguns and handguns are semi-automatic, not automatic. People like him apparently just like to use the term “automatic” and “assault weapon” for its fear factor. It doesn’t matter to them if the terms used are correct or accurate.

4) His statement that, “until recently, weapons such as the AR-15 were illegal” is also not telling the whole story. The law he is referring to was passed in 1994 (there was no ban prior to that) and expired in 2004. The law only prohibited the manufacture of certain semi-automatic type weapons and high-capacity magazines. He fails to point out that many studies, including one from the University of Pennsylvania, showed the law had “no discernible effect in the lethality or injuriousness of gun violence.” There are many semi-automatic weapons, other than so-called “assault weapons,” including handguns that, with 10 rounds or fewer magazines, could kill just as many people. It would just take a little longer.

5) Mr. Cook also seems to know exactly what is constitutional, and by his statement, “Clearly, it is not unconstitutional to enact such restrictions, or the prior law would have been struck down.” Wow, this guy sure knows law! He should be on the Supreme Court.

6) No one that I know of, including the much-maligned NRA, want deranged or criminal elements to obtain weapons of any kind, although Mr. Cook would lead you to believe they do.

7) I’m not sure I disagree with increasing the age to purchase any weapon to 21, but to think that this will have any effect on keeping guns out of the hands of people under 21 is ludicrous. This is like thinking that a gun-free zone will prevent someone from using a weapon in a crime in that zone.

8) His statement that “If we make certain weapons illegal, and prohibit people from owning them, then the people who own them will not be able to walk around with these things and claim they have them legally, because they would be illegal.” Boy that will really put a dent in crime, criminal behavior and gun violence! Just like if we only had laws prohibiting speeding, no one would go over the speed limit.

9) We all wish there would be no gun violence or guns in schools. However, that is like wishing and hoping no one will ever break into your home and try to rape your wife or daughter or otherwise hurt you or your family.

10) To say we “live in a country that values the 2nd Amendment more than the lives of our children” is just not right. To state that one excludes the other is ridiculous. Mr. Cook is just not rational!

I like reading many of the articles in your publication in order to keep up with New Hampshire news, I just wish more publishers would stick to the news and not embed articles with political opinions. Please keep your opinions and those of your contributors to the opinion page where it belongs.

Don Heaton

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