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Enough is Enough: There are solutions that can curb gun violence

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Are guns good or evil? Were they created in Heaven or Hell?

Our military personnel carry guns to protect our nation from enemies outside our borders whose stated goals are to destroy our way of life. This makes firearms good.

Our law enforcement officers carry guns attempting to maintain peace and tranquility in our cities and neighborhoods. This also makes guns good.

Then we have the criminals that use guns to terrorize our cities through robbery, rape, drug trafficking and killing. They prefer the rewards obtained through the use of a firearm to the pittance earned by getting up in the morning and finding their way to a job in order to make an honest living.

Then there are the politicians. What do career politicians do when faced with a problem that arouses public emotion and they have no clue how to handle the problem? Well, by God, they create a solution. Using smoke, mirrors and emotion, they create an impression that they are working hard to do something about the problem.

So it is in their quest to curb gun violence. Solution: they want to restrict the rights of law-abiding individuals by limiting the type of firearms they are allowed to own. They seek to restrict the size of the ammunition clip that law-abiding citizens can possess. They reintroduce laws, already on the books, prohibiting felons and people with mental illness from owning or possessing a firearm.

In the end, the only thing that will happen is that responsible, law-abiding citizens will be limited as to what they can purchase. In the end, criminals and the mentally ill will still find ways to obtain firearms. And, in the end, the politicians will again slap each other on the back, congratulating themselves for having the intestinal fortitude to make our country and neighborhoods safer.

If a law abiding citizen wants to recreate by blowing off rounds with an “assault rifle,” who are you, Mr. Politician, to deny them? Perhaps your time would be better spent focusing on the fraudulent use of taxpayers’ money via EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards.

Then we have the NRA (National Rifle Association) and some clueless politicians that have come up with less-than-brilliant solutions. They want to arm teachers and place police officers in our schools. I would submit that a police officer with a semi-automatic pistol will be just one more casualty when confronting a subject armed with an “assault rifle.”

Teachers? Here is a novel idea: instead of having teachers take on the role of police officer, social worker, nurse, record keeper and parent, how about letting them spend 100% of their time doing what they trained for—teaching.

There are solutions to this problem.

First, mandatory background checks for all gun sales. This solution only works if elected officials hold bureaucrats’ feet to the fire, making sure the data base are updated with the names and dates of birth of felons, the mentally ill and those prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Second, those convicted of serious violent crimes should be severely punished and given no break on their sentence. The majority of criminals that commit crimes are either awaiting trial for a major crime or on probation or parole for a prior violent crime.

Next, the public can no longer stand on the sidelines. The time has come for them to step up to the plate. If someone in your workplace, school or neighborhood is either acting bizarrely or committing crimes, make it known to the police, an immediate supervisor or a teacher.

Too many times after a tragedy, it is revealed that many had seen the signs of irrational or strange behavior but failed to report it. Mr. and Mrs. J. Q. Public, you serve as our first line of defense in preventing this type of tragedy.

Lastly, we have the arch criminals, the thugs that terrorize and prey on neighborhoods. They rely on violence, fear, intimidation and left-wing advocacy groups to help them in their reign of terror, handcuffing the police from dutifully carrying out their assignments. If they get the right (left-leaning) judge, they’ll have their cases dismissed on a technicality, walk out of court and file a multi-million-dollar suit against the city.

Finally, how does the group “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”, which seeks to limit the type of firearms and the size of an ammunition clip legally purchased by law-abiding citizens, actually stop the use of illegal handguns?

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