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Tue., Oct. 6
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Increase penalties to deter crimes with guns


The reinstatement of the ill-defined so-called assault rifle ban will do nothing to control real crime. All it will do is waste millions of taxpayers’ money and allow Congress to claim to the uninformed and gullible that they have done something great. That also includes our governor and others who fast-tracked a similar but more restrictive law.

The reason the so-called assault rifle ban was allowed to lapse was because it did not stop crime. So what’s the point of bringing back a similar law? Everyone familiar with the gun issue knows the over 15,000 laws we now have do not protect against crime. The reason is they are not enforced. In the 1960s through the 1980s the U.S. had a serious drunken driving problem. What did MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) do? They did not try to outlaw cars, alcohol or barrooms. What they did do was to pressure our brave, courageous politicians to increase the fines and penalties for persons who break the law.

Another point of discussion that lawmakers want to push under the rug is that in every case of mass shootings, the person, or persons, was criminally insane. What did our leaders do? Cut the funding. By the way, the biggest mass shooting was not in the United States, but in Sweden, where there are very strict gun laws.

If this letter sounds like an endorsement of the NRA, it is. The National Rifle Association for years has pressured leaders to increase jail time to a minimum of five years for any crime committed with a firearm. I say 10 years. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City increased the penalties to three years, with no mention of that evil NRA and no credit given to them. Only people so far to the political left they cannot see daylight believe members and leaders of the NRA want gun crimes to continue. The NRA is the only national organization that promotes gun safety classes in schools.

In the United States, we do not have a gun problem. We have a mental illness and a crime problem. Yes, the NRA is mainly concerned with the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, but the NRA is the defender of all 10 rights. The Bill of Rights is the corner post of the U.S. Constitution. If one amendment is weakened or removed, which one will be next? If that ever happens, we are in big trouble.

Tom Hall


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