Real problems require real solutions (John Nichols)
At the March 14 hearing on gun control bills, citizen activist John Nichols spoke in opposition to HB 330 (raising the legal age to buy rifles). Although his statement drew little attention, it raised some basic questions about the proposal that the public would do well to consider.
No evidence exists mass murders will be reduced by raising the age to purchase long guns in Delaware to 21. Further, the proposed amendments to HB 330 still exclude all centerfire rifle calibers currently allowed to hunt fox and groundhog.
At the age of 10, I roamed the farm fields of my youth in search of game with shotgun or rifle in hand without adult supervision. The firearms used [were] sometimes purchased by mail order without any background checks. The truth is arbitrary age limits will not cure the ills of society.
Will the next horrific event call for demands to raise the age limit to 25 or 30, with further infringement on natural rights as enshrined in our State and Federal Constitutions?
Until society can honestly determine why mass murders occur, we must have stricter enforcement of current gun laws, improved reporting to NICS, and more rapid identification and treatment of at-risk youth, with the necessary Constitutional safeguards in place. In almost every instance, bureaucrats and health care professionals tragically failed to recognize the warning signs or to perform their sworn duties in Citizen Gun Free Zones.
Moral people deplore the behavior of individuals who commit these heinous acts and they struggle to make sense of the obvious failure of the family to raise children who know the difference between good and evil.
Sadly, many of these troubled souls have no family at all and instead rely on government programs. The government is a poor substitute for a strong family, as evidenced by the moral decay in our society today.
Rather than enacting ineffective gun laws, or perpetuating Citizen Gun Free Zones, it is time identify the root causes for this dysfunctional behavior. Even Attorney General Matt Denn, among the staunchest advocates for increased gun laws, acknowledges they will not solve the problem.
HB 330 provides only a superficial expression of morality, largely to make people feel legislators care deeply about the problem. Make no mistake, opponents of HB 330, and the companion gun control bills, care deeply about real solutions, not feel good measures that accomplish nothing.