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On issue of gun control, what a difference a map can make

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: January 2, 2013

Obama supports a gun control measure advanced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Even some pro-gun Democrats have expressed a willingness to restrict gun ownership following Newtown. It's clear, though, that short of confiscating guns (which no one is seriously proposing), a future weapons ban will have little immediate effect.

Publicizing the addresses of gun permit holders was alternately seen as advertising where thieves can steal guns or broadcasting where people live who don't have a permit and are thus more vulnerable to home invasions. None of this appears to have been taken into account by Journal News executives.

As long as gun-related violence occurs, people on both sides of the gun control controversy will exploit tragedies for political gain. Easy answers will be sought. Moves to restrict gun ownership will lead to a surge in gun-buying and memberships in the National Rifle Association. Comparisons will be made between the United States and countries with strict gun control measures — and between states like Oklahoma and Connecticut.

What gun control proponents can't answer is the question of what restricting future sales of weaponry will do to curb violence involving weapons that were bought five, 10, 15 or more years ago. And what they don't want to talk about are measures to identify and monitor individuals whose mental health status puts them in a higher risk category.

That would be profiling and a violation of individual rights — something gun control advocates don't seem to consider when weapon ownership and permitting is the issue.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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