I regret to inform you that in “Guns and definitions” (editorial, July 26), you have been duped by the advocates of “gun control.”
The editorial states: “Even incremental limits on the ability of individuals to acquire military-style weaponry — restricting the sale of automatic weapons that fire multiple rounds with the squeeze of a trigger, limiting the sale of outsized bullet magazines, tracking assault weapons from the point of purchase — are met with howls that liberals are out to ‘ban guns.’”
1) The sale of automatic weapons that fire multiple rounds with one squeeze of the trigger are already highly restricted and regulated, requiring a special federal license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for purchase. Very few civilians own such firearms, and the shooter in Aurora neither used nor owned one. Such firearms, by the way, are illegal for civilian purchase in New Jersey and in many other states. These firearms have been highly restricted for decades.
2) Assault rifles — indeed, all firearms — are already tracked from the point of purchase. All firearm sales from factory to firearms dealer to retail purchaser are tracked and recorded already. That is how the purchase points of the firearms used in Aurora were identified so quickly. But I’m curious: how does this gun registration bureaucracy help prevent crime? It does, of course, quite successfully create a nuisance for law-abiding gun owners.
3) As for restrictions on what you call “outsized bullet magazines,” what exactly is “outsized”? Standard pistols today — common for civilian use for personal defense and for target shooting — carry 12-17 rounds. “Gun control” advocates are crying for an impaired-capacity 10-round restriction. Are we also going to restrict the police to 10 rounds? Obviously not; doing so would be dangerous. Why is it not dangerous then to restrict civilians to 10 rounds? After all, it was civilians who were on the front line in Aurora — by the time the police arrived, the murderer was getting into his car. Shouldn’t we let our civilians, as the first-responders to violent criminals, have the same firepower as the second-responder police?
If such a shooter came into your synagogue, would you want your synagogue to be a self-declared “gun-free” victim disarmament zone, like the theater in Aurora? Or would you want your law-abiding, upstanding congregants to be able to respond with normal capacity magazines in their defensive sidearms?
Rabbi Dovid Bendory