VIEWPOINT: Readers share their opinions on the gun issue
Reader cites assault weapon stats
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 to 2004 applied only to weapons manufactured AFTER the law’s enactment. This law included “prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms defined as assault weapons as well as certain magazines defined as large capacity.”
The law passed 56-43 with both Sens. Feingold and Kohl voting in favor of the bill, along with 10 Republican senators. Even though Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan wrote letters to congress urging its passage, the final bill signed by President Clinton was weaker than the original bill that Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., authored.
After Sandy Hook, Sen. Feinstein introduced a bill identical to this 1994 ban, but without the 10-year sunset clause. That bill failed 40-60. Sen. Baldwin, D-Wisc., voted in favor, along with Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Sen. Johnson, R-Wisc., and all remaining Republicans voted against along with 15 Democrats. Even had all 15 Democrats changed their vote, it still would not have reached the 60-vote threshold to pass.
Did the 10-year ban on certain assault weapons save lives just in school, religious and public gathering places?
In that 10-year period of the ban, three shootings occurred in such places, including Columbine, for a 10-year total of 30 killed and 44 wounded.
In the next 10-year period after the ban expired, 10 such shootings occurred, including
Virginia Tech, a Sikh Temple, a movie theater, and Sandy Hook Elementary School, for a total of 128 killed and 171 wounded.
In just the four-year period from then until now, six such shootings occurred, including the Charleston church, Orlando nightclub, Las Vegas strip and Florida’s Stoneman Douglas School for a total of 174 killed and 655 wounded.
Kay Hoff, Minocqua
Marching for a cause
In the wake of the deadly assault on another school in America, the survivors of that tragedy, young adult students, are taking it upon themselves to demand changes in firearm and related legislation at the state and federal levels. From the time they were born this part of our society has never lived a day of life without the threat of an attack on a school in their country.
These students are forming a movement we have never witnessed before. Because they are older, they can speak out for all past victims of school shootings, including the very young at the Sandy Hook School. They are also speaking out for the many educators gunned down in the line of duty.
In the near future, students from all over American will embark on marches throughout our country. They have labeled these events as “March For Our Lives.” What we are seeing is historic. This group of young Americans, too young to vote, has had enough of inaction by our legislators. These are our future leaders. They find themselves in a fight for their lives.
Speaking of which, wouldn’t it be fitting to have the “Right to Life” movement in America be a part of this? Their presence would make for a very powerful setting. Think about it, sharing the podium with this group of young people who are also looking for answers. Representatives from each group, side by side, speakin gout supporting one another and seeking a common goal – life.
Jim and Margaret Barnes, Rhinelander.
People kill people
The same way automobiles do not kill people, guns do not kill people. Blame the insurance companies. They do not cover mental health in a way ordinary people can afford coverage. The insurance companies control the medical, auto, institutions and many other areas of our lives.
Attack where it will do some good, not the constitution.
Barbara Schmeling, Rhinelander