AP NEWS

Editorial On Gun Background Checks Misleading

February 25, 2019

Editor: Your editorial “Close Background Check Loopholes” (Feb. 13), although likely well-intentioned, contained statements that are not accurate or were designed to be deliberately misleading, provocative or insulting. As a longtime member of the National Rifle Association I take great offense at your characterization of me as a “right-wing political extremist.” Your editorial referenced the murderer in Newtown Connecticut as an example of so-called, “background check loophole.” You fail to point out that Adam Lanza murdered his mother and stole a firearm before going to the school. The issue at Sandy Hook Elementary was mental illness, not background checks. Universal background checks will never be universal since only the law-abiding go through the background check process. Yes, the process has prevented thousands of gun sale transactions. Expanding it by placing burdensome and onerous regulations on law-abiding citizens will not curb crime. The legislation proposed in the new Congress serves only to make criminals out of citizens who a short time before were law-abiding. Felons should not be instantly created with the stroke of a pen. Firearms are inanimate objects incapable of violence. It is criminals, be they mentally ill or not, who wield guns in a dangerous or threatening manner. This is what needs to be addressed in a civil society. But no, our leaders are concerned with a neighbor loaning a gun to his neighbor to shoot at the range. Or, whether the gun can hold nine or 11 bullets. Symbolism over substance is no way to legislate on serious issues. There has not been one single proposal that deals with taking guns away from criminals. The whole focus has been on turning law-abiding citizens into lawbreakers. I for one will not stand by and watch it happen. A. David Berman WILKES-BARRE