Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aug. 6: The Gun Law Weaknesses Are Showing - And Death Tolls Are Rising

By Sylvia Gurinsky

The shooting at an LA Fitness center outside Pittsburgh that took three innocent lives is just one way increasing weakness in gun laws is showing.

Bullied and/or financially buffeted by the National Rifle Association, lawmakers in Congress and across the United States have been removing protections for people in places of business, national parks and other areas that are gun-free. The actions of LA Fitness shooter George Sodini - a man who didn't have a criminal record and had a hate-filled blog that, apparently, nobody read until it was too late - show the perils of opening up locations to people with guns. The problem is that people will bring them. That includes angry people, even those without criminal records. People who, like Sodini, are ready to kill.

The LA Fitness tragedy should give pause to any elected official considering opening up any public forum to guns.

So should a study by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. One of the NRA's persistent arguments is to "get illegal guns off the streets." The Brady study says that's very difficult for states to do because of the lack of strong gun laws:

Congress and the state legislatures - including Florida's - need to take this report seriously.

If the NRA's argument is that if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns, the Brady study shows the opposite: More outlaws have guns because more guns aren't outlawed.

And if more places are open to guns, they become inviting targets for more troubled people.


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