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Gun Control Legislation: A Proposal

An NRA member calls for substantive, comprehensive, and immediate changes to our current gun control laws.

To the Editor:

The Sunday before the Sandy Hook slaughter, my family went target shooting. I am an NRA member, a Vice-Chair of the Mercer County Republican Committee, and fully support the calls for substantive, comprehensive, and immediate changes to our current gun control laws.

In shooting circles, there is a clever retort that says gun control is all about hitting your target. The all too facile quips, counterarguments and deflections against effective gun control legislation must now be laid to rest. Full-automatic and semi-automatic firearms are about quickly and effectively engaging and neutralizing multiple targets. Add to the equation high capacity magazines in an active shooter scenario, and the result is carnage.

Does America need another Emmett Till moment, to provide the visual evidence of what multiple high velocity rounds will do to a child’s body?

There are three legitimate reasons for Americans to own firearms: Self Defense, Hunting and Marksmanship. The current vilification of lawful gun owners is counter-productive and misguided: Gun owners, as never before, are receptive to rational gun control legislation proposals. Let’s not lose a unique opportunity for real reform because of ad hominem attacks.

The stated goal of the Obama Administration is to re-instate a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines, while lawful firearms owners are hesitant to support the proposal in part because they fear the confiscation of their legally purchased rifles.

Here’s a compromise: Ban the actions of the rifles, not the rifles per se. This can be accomplished with the mandatory modification of all civilian rifles and smoothbores (shotguns) from their full automatic and semi automatic actions to actions that be only manually cycled (eg. straight-pull bolt action). This is both technologically feasible and a relatively cost effective solution. To avoid past loopholes, there must be no grandfathering of certain firearms. All fully automatic and semi-automatic rifles and smoothbores must be so modified.

If public safety requires we remove fully automatic and semi automatic rifles and smoothbores from civilian possession, we have the choice of outright confiscation, or modification. Under the modification scenario, owners will still get to keep their modified rifles and shotguns for legitimate uses while meeting the public safety requirements, without resorting to very unpopular and highly questionable confiscatory practices. After a transition period to permit for the mandated modifications, full-auto or semi-auto rifles and smoothbores will be prohibited to be manufactured for, owned by, or sold to the civilian sector.

A standing government buy-back program should also be instituted for all individuals who wish to sell their firearms. These programs have proven enormously successful in getting guns off the streets, and have enthusiastic support of law enforcement. The weapons purchased in the buy-back program are then destroyed lest they later resurface in the black market.

The Second Amendment phrase “well regulated” must be neither an empty phrase, nor code language against firearms ownership--but a goal to responsibly preserve an essential right in our Republic, coupled with the knowledge that the lives of our children and our neighbors depend upon real reform of our current arms laws.

Mark Scheibner

Princeton, NJ

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

susan colby December 22, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I am not an NRA member and was pleased to see that you, an NRA member, and apparently knowledgeable about guns are advocating for intelligent gun regulations. I suggest that you petition all NRA members to cancel their memberships until the NRA comes to its senses regarding gun regulation measures.
Tonto Jones December 23, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Mr. Scheibner: My research indicates that Emmett Till was beat to death. Unless there was a change to NJ law full automatic firearms are not permitted in NJ. The capacity of magazines is also limited to 12-15 rounds. I don’t know why a photo of the Sig with hollow points was provided, is that just for appearance. Maybe we should stop the production of violent movies and video games. I am sure that liberal movie makers and Tommie Cruise would gladly stop making those movies. Lets regulate the mentally ill, get them help. Let’s regulate the creeps breaking into cars, robbing old ladies, and shop lifting from our stores. How many abortions, drunk driver related deaths occurred last week, are you concerned about that. Let’s remove golf clubs, knifes, baseball bats and bricks, also used as assault weapons. Your suggestion of an easy fix would be to modify all actions to bolt action. I don’t think that my pump shotgun would work very well. The goal of Obama is to remove all firearms. The government tells us what type of light bulbs we have to use, how much soda we can drink, and what food we can consume. As the VP of the NRA stated the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. I see from you narrative that you are a politician. I know politicians would never lie but could you please post a copy of your NRA card.
Joe R December 23, 2012 at 04:14 AM
I agree with Susan and would add that responsible gun owners should quit the NRA and maybe form their own association which will accept sensible gun laws, at long last.
Joe R December 23, 2012 at 02:18 PM
How many mass murders have been committed with golf clubs, knives, baseball bats or bricks in which 26 people were killed by one person at one incident? How many are killed with golf clubs per year? By the way, the golf club is not designed to kill people or animals. Guns are designed to kill and maim living things. No one needs a semi-automatic gun for defense or hunting. Apply the same restriictions to semi-automatics as apply to fully automatic weapons, which includes finger printing and an FBI background check, amongst many other procedures involved. Yes, improve mental health care with Medicare for all.
Joe R December 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Emmett Till was beat, tortured and shot in the head. Mr. Scheibner was pointing out that the terrible crime against Emmett Till was a pivotal moment in US history which galvanized popular opinion against the treatment of blacks in this country at that time.
Barney December 23, 2012 at 03:03 PM
How are we going to protect ourselves from the inner city liberals looking for meth money in your house without a gun. The only people with guns would be people from Asbury, Neptune, Trenton and Camden. Why don't we only ban people who voted for Obama from owning a gun? This would drop murders over 50%.
Joe R December 23, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Your "comment" is inane and lame. Who said you couldn't have a gun for self-defense? I'm talking about banning or severely restricting the sales of semi-automatics and banning the extended ammunition magazines. That still leaves you with the possibility to buy a whole host of guns for self-defense. I said nothing about banning all guns. We go through these same straw man garbage arguments after every mass murder. No one is talking about banning all guns. This isn't a joke any more.
frank rizzo December 29, 2012 at 04:30 AM
hey barney looks like the patch finally banned you. i guess even the patch finally got sick of youre racist and moronic comments. buh bye barney. lol
frank rizzo December 29, 2012 at 04:31 AM
dont worry barney you can blame it on obama. lol
Joe R December 29, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Arrivederci, Barney. Buon Anno Nuovo in Lower Slobovia.
Joe R December 29, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry told the NY Daily News that NRA head Wayne LaPierre was lying when he claimed the country “had a whole lot of school shootings” and “put armed security in every school” during an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press. Palmor told the paper, “We didn’t have a series of school shootings, and they had nothing to do with the issue at hand in the United States.” He also said: “Israeli citizens are not allowed to carry guns unless they are serving in the army or working in security-related jobs that require them to use a weapon.”
Silence Dogood March 10, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Americans don't NEED a reason to own firearms. It's a RIGHT. Do you need a reason for free speech or to be free from unreasonable search and seizure? Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood March 10, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Many folks out there believe that the Second Amendment grants Americans the right to keep and bear arms. This is not the case if you read it properly, as the Supreme Court has done: “… the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be Infringed.” Nowhere in that language is a right conferred. The Right to Self-Defense and to Bear Arms in Self-Defense is today, as it was at the time, a NATURAL right – one that is unalienable as noted in the Declaration. The Second Amendment is not intended to confer rights, but is rather a CONSTRAINT upon Government and others that this natural Right is not to be Infringed upon. This IS the Constitutional test to which most of this misguided legislation should be put, and legislators who are attacking the Constitution in order to advance a political agenda should be impeached. They have sworn an oath to ‘protect and preserve’ the Constitution, not to attack it and infringe upon the natural Rights of citizens. Yes, there can be limits, but not those that infringe. As Antonin Scalia wrote in the SCOTUS majority opinion in Heller vs. DC (page 19, para. c): “The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed. This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf Silence Dogood

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