Time to regulate civilian ownership of military-style weapons
December 23, 2012 01:37 AM | 1957 views | 20 20 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

I am writing out of frustration. After 19 years in public service at the Cobb County Commission and the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, I have never opined on community issues. I have been asked a number of times about different issues, but have always stated that when I leave something I don’t look back or attempt to have influence that is better left to those currently in those same positions of leadership. But when innocent 6- and 7-year-old babies are the victims, it is time to speak.

I cannot remain silent on this recent tragedy. Some folks are regurgitating the same mantra that “People kill people, guns don’t kill people.” And that there is no reason to address our current gun laws. To me this is absurd.

Being politically conservative I certainly agree with the citizens’ right to bear arms. However, to take the hard line position that this should include all guns, including automatic rifles such as the AK-47, is ludicrous.

I have heard and read two opinions on this particular aspect of the debate. One expert on Fox News stated the obvious when he said such weapons were originally developed for “military purposes.” Enough said! That fact speaks volumes.

The second statement came from an interview in a USA Today article on 12/18 with rocker, avid hunter and NRA Board member, Ted Nugent. Mr. Nugent is paraphrased as having said that “… he hunted before he began playing the guitar.” My immediate thought was to ask him if he ever hunted with an AK-47. I am reasonably certain that I know the answer. No sportsman would ever use such a weapon.

There is absolutely no defensible rationale for allowing these automatic killing machines to be sold to the general public. This is not a constitutional issue of the “right of our citizens to bear arms.” That right is inviolate. We can have a discussion of better standards for checking applicants vis-à-vis mental health issues, etc.

However, a very positive first step would be to remove the high-powered automatic weapons from the potential arsenal of anyone, no matter their mental state.

Thank you for listening. There comes a time one is obligated to speak up.

Bill Cooper

west Cobb

Editor’s note: Mr. Cooper represented west Cobb on the Board of Commissioners and later was president of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. He is a retired airline and military pilot.
Comments
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Ridiculous Approach!
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January 16, 2013
What's next? Minimizing the speed cars can travel at in order to NOT hit pedestrians??? Where will all this end??? How many more rights will law-abiding, sane, competent individuals/taxpayers have to lose before we say, "Enough Already!"?

The cows have left the barn!!! Shutting the barn door will not help! As Larry Savage wrote in last week's column, Ak-47s are produced in over 80 countries around the world. There is NO WAY that these weapons will ever NOT be available to criminals or citizens wishing to defend themselves!!!

The citizen without a criminal record or mental health deficiency who buys "rapid-fire, larg-magazine" rifles is probably NOT confident in their training -- so they want something that continually fires at an intrudent to ensure their own safety. Good luck trying to dispel this concept from gun-buyers' minds!!!! Just as people take two tablets per dose instead of the prescribed one tablet per dose -- because two are twice as effective as one -- people will still crave more "effective" weapons!!!
DanChimo
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January 06, 2013
There comes a time when one is obligated to educate themselves rather than display ignorance. Mr. Cooper doesn't know the difference between a select-fire military rifle, which has been tightly regulated since 1934 and it's strictly semi-automatic civilian look-alike. If you don't know what the heck you are talking about, perhaps you should do a bit of homework before you make us all a little bit stupider with your knee-jerk emotional bandwagonism.
Yes & No
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December 25, 2012
A hunting friend has an AR15 and says that it is about the operator, not the equipment. While he may slightly have a point, who's to say he won't go crazy tomorrow. It also doesn't stop some other crazy from stealing it.

I also said if it takes you that many rounds to hit a deer, perhaps you are a bad hunter.

I believe in the right to bear arms for protection and hunting, but agree with Mr. Cooper in that guns such as AR15's should be for armed forces and that's it.

However, sorry Bill, but I believe that People Kill People....not guns purchased or stolen, airplanes that crash into buildings or rental vans that have bombs in them (Oklahoma).

Behind these devices are people who have somehow been affected by culture that have changed their reason for being. Until the culture changes, we will have to deal with these people.
AmericanMale
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December 24, 2012
An AK-47 was not actually used to kill the victims in CT. Your whole argument is based on an errant premise, Mr Cooper!

See, the problem is that you put all of your faith in the reliability of government to always protect us from evil deeds. The fact is, no police with arms got there in time to stop the mad man. Had someone on the property been armed, many of those who lost their lives would be alive today.

Key to your argument is the notion that the only legitimate use of guns by citizens is hunting. That's pure ignorance! Apart from having the right to protect ourselves from those who wish to harm us, we also have the right to stop a government which becomes too intrusive on our rights! You have just revealed that you have been a part of building such a government! I will need all the firepower I can muster to go up against your tanks (remember Waco?!). You, however, probably won't be happy until law-abiding citizens are left only with bows and arrows, or at the most, muskets!
Kevin Foley
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December 24, 2012
@ AmericanMale(whoever you are) - You sound like a delusional and paranoid Ted Nugent fan. I remember Waco well; another homicidal manic (and child rapist) breaking the law instigated that confrontation and then set his place on fire, killing everyone inside.

Stop making excuses for lunatics with too much fire power. And, by the way, if that apocalypse you imagine in your fever swamp dreams ever happens, I want to see you step into thee street to confront an Abrams tank with your ArmaLite.

AmericanMale
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December 27, 2012
Get your facts straight, Kevin: the cause of death for many who died in Waco was being crushed by rubble from the tanks punching through walls, smoke inhalation from fires, and agent gunfire. By no means am I defending the branch Davidians, but the fires and most of the carnage likely were the result of government actions. There was no conclusion on how the fires were started.

I just wonder, would you characterize the American Revolution as "apocalyptic?" I believe you are what Karl Marx referred to as a "useful idiot!"

BTW, I have no opinion on Ted Nugent. He's welcome to express his opinion on gun rights as long as the 1st amendment remains intact... Or do you want to try to take that, too?
West Cobb Farmer
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December 24, 2012
Mr. Cooper, I have to agree with you, it's time to restrict gun ownership. In fact, I think that all guns should be confiscated by the government. I used to be one of those people who believed that... when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns. I was one of those people who believed that... guns don't kill people, people kill people. But I've come to recognize and accept the fact that America has become a society of buffoons. The framers of the Constitution could not foresee that Americans would one day evolve into a citizenry of irresponsible buffoons incapable of handling - freedom of speech, freedom of religion etc etc and... the right to bear arms. Had they been able to see where we are today they would have taken a different path to government.
NO-BS
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January 15, 2013
Farmer - I also have come to recognize and accept that a keyboard in the hands of the ignorant and ill-informed is potentially as dangerous as a lunatic on the Square with a weapon.
Too funny
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December 24, 2012
The second amendment isn't going anywhere, but the founders I think would be appalled at how badly it has been perverted. Let's read it again shall we?

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

What's that first phrase again? A WELL REGULATED MILITIA. Power trippers who want to get off on guns should be able to within the parameters of the well regulated militia with which they are members.
DanChimo
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January 06, 2013
More ignorance. "well regulated" means well-trained and led. What some of you who are ignorant of our history fail to understand is that:

1. Prior to WWI, most American owned firearms that were better than what the military had

2. American veterans traditionally prefer firearms they are the most familiar with...which is typically those that they served with.

3. The firearms being discussed here are NOT full-auto/select fire military-issue firearms, but rather their civilian semi-auto lookalikes.

But of course we can't confuse the issue with mere facts when we have political axes to grind and bandwagons to jump on.

Bob Stone
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January 11, 2013
Too funny

A well "regulated" militia... Regulated at that time only meant trained.

The comma after Militia was a typo made during the transcription before ratification. It can not be taken out without writing another amendment. This comma makes the 2nd Amendment difficult to understand, although it doesn't change the meaning.

And last of all, study the definition of militia.

"The reserve militia or unorganized militia, also created by the Militia Act of 1903 which presently consist of every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age who are not members of the National Guard or Naval Militia.(that is, anyone who would be eligible for a draft). Former members of the armed forces up to age 65 are also considered part of the "unorganized militia" per Sec 313 Title 32 of the US Code." (Wikipedia)

This type of militia commonly use their own weapons. So I ask, should they be armed with a .22 single shot?

I'll remind you - US Code is Federal Law!
anonymous
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December 23, 2012
Picked a bad time to start offering opinons, Bill. If a maniac with a bat goes into a elementary school he could kill just as many kids. Limiting guns to law abiding citizens will do nothing to curb violence. Only an idiot thinks the object causes the act. When you look at women, does your wife blame your glasses?
Kevin Foley
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December 24, 2012
@ anonymous (whoever you are) - Kill 26 people in less then 5 minutes with a baseball bat? Asinine.

Stop making excuses for Animal Lanza, and the rest of the maniac killers.
Not really...
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December 25, 2012
If someone was swinging a baseball bat attacking people, a few people could take him down.

Hard to do with bullets flying at your face.
Bro Thomas
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December 23, 2012
I say we also limit the ownership of 8 cylinder cars. Who needs an engine that big. Look how many people die from them. Lets also limit ownership of aspirin and Tylenol. Too many folks have tried to commit suicide with them. Oh, lets make sure we limit ownership of belts - too many kids have been beaten with them - elastic pants for everyone. Oh, no more pools, I've seen reports of children drowning. My goodness, what we musat do to make sure we are secure. These "things" are tracking us down and killing us. Oh, but we can keep unlimited abortions - those kids dont matter.
NtheNo
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December 23, 2012
The civilian AK-47 and AR-15 are NOT automatic weapons.
Kevin Foley
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December 23, 2012
Well put. Mr. Cooper. Nugent (who dodged the draft and now calls soldiers his "brothers in arms") is part of this sick problem. Anyone who listens to that goofball needs to have all their weapons taken away.
anonymous
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December 25, 2012
Not only did he dodge the draft, but everyone should read his quotes on the sick way he did it.
Jim Stoll
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December 23, 2012
Mr Cooper: The only thing that's ludicrous about eliminating rapid fire automatic weapons from our society is your apparent belief that such an action will stop the killing of innocents in our society. As a military pilot, haven't you ever wondered how many innocient children died from carpet bombing of civilian areas during our many wars, or didn't the planes you flew carry guns or bombs? I served in the Milatary Transport Command after WWII, delivering food and clothing to the civilians of Europe. I saw first hand the carnage that airplanes can wreak on a civilian population. The only thing that will stop the killing of innocents in our society is for the adults to stop teaching our children how to kill, by movies, by interactive video games and by lack of parental supervision. We allow our children to be spoon fed on evil and killing from the day they are born and we wonder why some of them put their training to use. I have watched Col. David Grossman speaking out on almost every TV News channel about how he uses the same type of videos that parents buy for their children to teach young recruits in our military "how to kill". So why don't we just outlaw war. During my military service during the Korean conflict, at age 17, I was taught by adults how to kill. I guess one year makes all the difference. It is the thought of people like you advocating the violation of our Constitutional rights that makes me sick. Our Constitution gives we citizens the right to bear arms. It doesn't state what kind of arms we can bear. I don't own a gun. I don't even own a bullet. But I used a gun at age 8 to hunt and kill food for my family to eat I am just a proud American. What are you? Your years of service as a politician doesn't impress me. Why don't you advocate putting the elimination of guns, any type of guns, up for a national vote? If you can get 2/3rds of Americans to agree with you. Go for it. Otherwise, why don't you just shut up.
anonymous
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December 23, 2012
Is that kind of like the first amendment? Free speech should not inlude ALL speech, just what the government deems "correct".
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