LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Shootings would have occurred even with more rules

By Postie Editors

I have been a competitive shooter since the age of 14.

During those years, I have competed at the National Pistol Championships six times and won national titles twice.

When I am shooting, I am safe, careful and responsible for my actions. There are millions of others who are the same — hunters, shooters and competitors.

None of these people (“the shooting community”) have, to my knowledge, ever condoned, planned or carried out a mass murder.

Murder is the province of evil.

The recent mass shootings, and indeed all other large-scale acts of violence, were carried out by evil individuals. They would likely have occurred in one form or another regardless of any weapons bans enacted by the U.S. Government.

You see, evil does not care what restrictions you place upon it — evil does not concern itself with legality, morality or conscience.

Two of the deadliest attacks on United States soil (the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11) involved no firearms of any kind. Evil people will find a way to kill.

In response to last week’s “A nation in need of gun control” editorial claim that “assault rifles” are “solely manufactured to cause mass carnage.” I ask you to research the shooting community before having the temerity to make claims about the tools that we use.

Better yet, interview Jerry Miculek (professional shooter for firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson), Daniel Horner (professional shooter of the Army Marksmanship Unit), or Keith Garcia (professional shooter for Hornady Ammunition and firearms manufacturer FNH USA, among others), and ask them if they use their competition AR-15 rifles to “cause mass carnage.”

You could also inquire about the thousands of competitors who, every year, legally and safely fire in the National Rifle & Pistol Championships with what you assume to be “assault rifles.”

These rifles do not cause carnage, nor are they designed for anything of the sort — is a hammer, designed for driving nails, thus also designed for driving nails into people?

The human mind, using a tool, decides what the purpose of that tool is, not the tool itself.

That is why a ban on what the non-shooting public perceives as “assault rifles” will never be effective.

The restrictions of such a ban apply only to those who feel obligated to be bound by them in the first place; again evil does not care.

Such a legal action directly attacks the shooting community as a whole, propagates a sense of mistrust between the government, the general public, and the shooting community and limits only already law-abiding individuals from their Constitutional rights to self-defense, hunting ability and sporting purpose.

Ethan Arten

Junior, anthropology