Friday, January 18, 2013

Neth: My constituents do not want more gun control

In his latest report, Rep. Myron Neth, R-Liberty, offers his views on the ongoing gun violence debate.

I have had numerous inquiries on my views regarding the recent gun debate.  Feedback has come from people on all sides of the issue, but the vast majority of comments I have received support protecting our Second Amendment rights as they now stand and resist calls for any type of increased gun control. 

The events at Sandy Hook had a personal connection as my wife is a public elementary school teacher.  After the horrific events, we had several conversations regarding what options she would have in that type of situation and what would be good actions going forward. 

An idea I reject is promoting schools as "gun-free" zones.  This only invites those that intend to do harm to places that are most vulnerable.   I do not support the current legislation being proposed of allowing any school employee to carry a firearm if they have a concealed carry permit. However, I do support a system that would allow school employees to have additional certification training, which would then permit them to conceal and carry in schools if they so choose.  Overall, I believe that school safety decisions are best left up to the local school districts. 

Overall, I am not in favor of further gun control as I disagree that it will have any measurable effect on violent crime or killings. The assault weapons ban in the 1990's did not lead to a reduction in violent crime and during that time the Columbine school shooting occurred. 

I am in favor of ensuring that firearms remain in the hands of law abiding citizens and support systems and procedures that do this more effectively. Responsible and accountable gun ownership is a key part of the discussion.  In addition, we need to look at our Mental Health systems and ensure that we are taking the correct measures to keep firearms out of the hands of those that are mentally unequipped to safely own and operate a firearm.

This is a very emotional topic and one that does not have an easy answer given that we live in a free society. More than anything, we need to be vigilant in our efforts to ensure our safety without infringing on our freedoms earned through great sacrifice.

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