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Dereliction of duty by congressmen

Published: April 21, 2013

I am a gun owner with a permit to carry and a firm supporter of the Second Amendment right to own a gun. The Founders linked gun ownership with freedom and security. On a practical note, they never envisioned the weapons available today or that mentally disturbed individuals would use them to commit mass murder. As times and situations change, the role of Congress is to make laws that uphold the Second Amendment but also serve the greater purpose of the Constitution — to “insure domestic tranquility, provide for a common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty…”

When our elected congressmen allow people who are criminals or who exhibit dangerous behavior to easily obtain a firearm, they've failed to do their job. While laws alone won't end all gun violence, the absence of law encourages lawless behavior. We don't need to register guns. We need to register people who because of their behavior have been adjudicated by a court as a danger to society. These people should not possess a gun and must be severely punished when they do.

Anyone who facilitates the acquisition of a gun by such a person should also be severely punished. Furthermore, everyone who commits a crime with a gun should face severe penalties. Prohibiting gun possession by dangerous persons and severe punishment for gun crimes will reduce violence. Congressmen, do your job!

A.A. Austin, Del City