Archived Opinion

Burr, Tillis should support gun control

To the Editor:

This is an open letter to Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.

What happened in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., in the last two weeks are egregious crimes, even in war zones, according to the Geneva Convention. There is absolutely no justification for any 18-year-old to be able to purchase AR-15-style weapons and several 30-bullet capacity magazines of ammunition when he has to be 21 to purchase a handgun or drink alcohol. Even 21 is a compromise for those purchases because scientific research shows the adolescent brain is not fully developed until about the age of 25. The last two areas to develop are impulse control and judgement, so 18-year-olds are not ready for military style weapons unless they are in the controlled military environment where they are trained and supervised in their use.

About 90% of our citizens are in favor of background checks. About 80% favor red flag laws. And 67% of rank-and-file NRA members (not the Executive Board owned by the gun manufacturers) agree with sensible gun regulation. Even the Second Amendment supports regulation of ownership. Do you know what the first four words of the 2nd Amendment are? “A well regulated Militia…”, and that was when the most advanced technology was a muzzle loading single-shot rifle.

Banning assault style weapons and extended magazines does not impinge on the gun rights of owners of other types of guns. Those things were banned from 1994-2004 when Republicans allowed it to expire. No black helicopters landed in your front yard, no SWAT team broke into your homes to confiscate your guns. Since the ban expired, mass killings have tripled and in almost all events with double-digit casualties, the weapon was an AR-15 style weapon.

There is a significant group of gun owners in North Carolina that agree to limits on the type of guns that can be used, to the number of bullets that can be in the chamber of the gun, even the type of bullet that can be used, and to where and when they can use that gun. These people are the people who have hunting licenses and no one is screaming about Second Amendment rights. 

Think about this, ducks and deer and other game have more protection from gun violence than our children do. How can you possibly justify that? Really, ducks and deer are protected without complaint, from the violence of AR -15 style weapon and bullets, but our children and grandparents can’t be! How can that be pro-life? How can that make sense?

When are you both going to do something to give our children at least as much protection as ducks and deer? Is your inaction related at all to the fact that you, Sen. Burr, rank number two in the Senate for the amount of money you have received from the NRA at $6.98 million over your career? And you, Sen. Tillis, has the fact that you already rank number four in the Senate in NRA money at $4.42 million in your career that is half as long Sen. Burr’s affected your decision making? Surely our children are worth more than ducks and deer and NRA money. 

If you want my vote in the future, Sen. Tillis, you will have to show me you think so. You, Sen. Burr, need to show me that you have at least some concern and feel some responsibility to your constituents to do the right thing on the way out the door.

Jane Harrison 

Haywood County

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