Letter: Guns and liberty

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The Independent Culture
Guns and liberty

Sir: It is understandable that Europeans desire that we Americans follow your example, including, as your leader of 22 April suggested, a ban on the private possession of firearms.

However, you may as well suggest the Germans impose a ban on beer and reduce the autobahn speed to 100 kph. It simply isn't going to happen.

Yes, those who favour greater gun control are a majority, but it is a lazy majority, unwilling to part with a few dollars a year to fight the more generous cheque-writers of the pro-gun minority.

When a series of limited (by European standards) gun-control laws were very narrowly passed early on in the Clinton administration, we had a Democratic Congress and President, plus a number of retiring representatives who, having nothing to lose, voted according to their conscience for the first and only time. But that political balance died in 1994 after the gun lobby and their supporters successfully punished the Democrats in Congress who passed those laws.

We Americans understand that gun control is not on the cards; therefore, we have to look at solutions that move beyond the instinct for corrective legislation.

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