Letters, Sept. 23
In the wake of the horrific mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, attention has been focused on the necessity for universal background checks and an assault style weapons ban. Based on a Fox News Survey following the mass shootings, 90% favored background checks and 67% favored an assault weapons ban.
Most Democratic candidates espouse a mandatory buy-back provision — any assault-style weapon held (i.e. the AR-15 or AK-47) must be surrendered for money.
While I strongly support an assault weapons ban, it would be very invasive to enforce a mandatory buyback. Any federal ban should provide a means for law-abiding citizens who have purchased and registered their weapons prior to the passage of the ban, to retain their weapon, provided they pass the required background checks. Of course, voluntary buybacks would be encouraged.
The 2013 Connecticut state assault weapons ban provides an excellent prototype. The state allowed individuals owning weapons purchased prior to the ban to apply for a certificate of possession to continue to possess their assault style-weapon.
Americans, bred in a gun culture, finally collectively recognize the need for common-sense gun legislation. To attempt to over-legislate would be a serious misstep.