Lots of inaccuracies in wake of Sandy Hook

I always cringe when I see a Letter to the Editor where the writer criticizes somebody else for making incorrect statements, and then proceed to do the same themselves. I generally consider it “intellectual laziness.”

The letter of Jan. 26 that speaks of “high-tech” weaponry in reference to a modern sporting rifle does just that. The “AR” platform rifle was developed in the late 1950s, in a much more powerful caliber than the most popular selling rifle in America for the past several years is chambered in. And, I’d wager it’s the most popular seller because every veteran who served from the mid-1960s used a rifle that looks just like the “AR” platform rifle while in the military. The rifle is chambered for basically a ramped-up .22 caliber. The original was chambered in 30.06, which packs a much bigger punch.

He speaks of Washington having a much different view of a “well regulated militia” after embarking with “troops” going after “anti-tax insurgents” during the Whiskey Rebellion. One point of reference here, the “troops” he took to the field were the “well regulated militia.” The “anti-tax insurgents” were doing as had been legal, making their own liquor out of excess grain and corn. But, the fledgling nation decided to enact a tax on liquor. Since the “anti-tax insurgents” fled before the militia even arrived, I doubt seriously that Washington saw armed citizens any differently than he had prior to that time.

Since I have had discussions online with the letter writer, I fully expected the usual anti-NRA rant. If they’re such an evil organization, why did the president recently call for additional funds to schools to allow them to employ armed guards if they felt that was the best way to ensure the safety of their students?

If as is claimed that our leaders aren’t calling for a gun ban, why did we see the introduction of a new assault weapon ban, along with a number of anti-gun bills just this past week? And the writer suggests that one of the items Vice President Biden brought to the discussion was creating a universal data base of criminals and mentally ill people? There are a number of federal statutes that would have to be abolished to even get mental illness even reported to authorities.

Again, another factual errors in this letter was the claim that the Heller decision struck down a Washington, D.C., law banning handguns. D.C. law didn’t ban handguns, it banned semi-auto handguns. By twisting of words, the writer tries to change what the decision actually stated. It stated that governments could not ban “types” of firearms “in common use.” Given that the “AR” platform rifle is “in common use”, that decision would trump a new assault weapon ban.

But blaming the first victim of Adam Lanza, his mother, for supplying him with firearms hits a new low. Two factors are present in the mass killings we’ve seen lately. One, the killer sought out a gun free zone to be assured there would be no resistance to his attack. Two, these killers were all suffering from mental illness. To assert that a logical response to the actions of these mentally ill criminals is to punish law abiding citizens is lunacy at best.

Nearly immediately after reports of the tragedy at Sandy Hook hit the news wires, we saw those who have long wished to restrict gun rights come out swinging. To my mind, these long-time anti-gun advocates are simply dancing in the blood of innocent children to advance their agenda. And that saddens me nearly as much as the actions of that madman did.

Patrick Offenberger