• 66°

Some inconvenience means safety

It is beyond reason that Preston Ray Garrett (Protect children from shootings, Oxford Eagle, Jan. 6, 2016) believes that the president’s recent initiative regarding gun violence is a partisan attempt to “attack the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families.”

There is nothing in the president’s proposals that would in any way keep a citizen from exercising his or her 2nd Amendment right “to keep and bear Arms;” that is, unless that citizen were a convicted felon, suffering from a mental impairment that would make him or her dangerous to society as a whole, or on a no-fly or terrorist watch list.

Some of these restrictions are already on the books but are not being enforced uniformly, partly because of differences in state laws and partly due to lack of diligence in providing the federal authorities with timely information, not to mention Congress’ unwillingness to provide funds necessary for proper enforcement of the laws or for mental health initiatives.

Granted, that requiring gun dealers to register and to require background checks, even at gun shows or on the Internet, would subject law-abiding citizens to some inconvenience, I believe most of us would accept that inconvenience if it would prevent just one radical jihadist from walking out of a local gun show with an AK-47.

Mr. Garrett’s recommendation that armed guards be placed at “soft targets” (especially schools, churches, etc) would provide some level of protection, assuming a certain amount of luck in responding with a side arm to a surprise attack by an assailant firing a fully automatic assault weapon. The major problem is funding such a proposal without taking funds from a school system in Mississippi that is already limited in its ability to properly educate its young because of inadequate funding provided by the state.

E. Jeff Justis

Oxford