The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

May 2, 2013

Our Readers Speak - Thursday, May 2, 2013

Manchin showed poor judgment

Sen. Manchin: “But if you’re going to be against me and target me, it would be nice if you tell me why.”

The debate about the veracity of statements made by the NRA vs. statements made by proponents of “Gun Control” is a trivial side issue, in my opinion. As I see it, the important issue is: Would the Manchin bill materially decrease the number of homicides by firearms in the U.S.? The answer is no.

Sen. Manchin showed poor judgment in working so hard on a non-solution to the murder-by-firearms problem.

Present laws requiring information from prospective purchasers of firearms are almost completely unenforced. Liars are not prosecuted.

So, first: enforce existing laws. Pass a bill requiring it, Sen. Manchin; that would help some.

Second: (very difficult, admittedly) restrain individuals prone to violence before they act. As a start, define the characteristics of the most violence-prone mental abnormalities. Second, identify the individuals suffering these characteristics. Third, enter these individuals in a prior restraint database. Forth, continuously monitor and, if necessary, institutionalize those individuals, on a case-by-case basis.

If these prescriptions are too draconian to contemplate in a free society, then let us stop wringing our hands and admit that the citizenry at large will have to continue to live with the present level of “random” killings. Certain populations can be protected (imperfectly, to be sure). For example, implement the NRA’s policy of armed guards in all schools, as is done in private schools attended by prominent politician’s children in the Washington, D.C., area.

RD Blakeslee

Union

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