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Reader input: Legislators must take action on gun laws

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I submitted the following letter to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Representative Tom McClintock:
Following the tragic news of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., I must urge you to do something about the gun laws in this country. When will these repulsive episodes end? Forget about the power of the gun lobby and the NRA.
Forget about the slick slogans that say “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Forget about the fact that the shooters have mental issues. Forget about the fact that anyone who wants a gun can find one on the black market.
What needs to be considered is that 20 children were slaughtered. They were innocent victims who were in a place that they and their parents and their country considered safe and secure.
Yet they have been taken before their time, their families destroyed, their young friends scarred by a frightening experience that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
It is time to deal with the gun laws in this country. I am not opposed to the Second Amendment. But I am opposed to the types of weapons available (what private citizen needs assault rifles?), the number of weapons people can own, the types of people who can purchase weapons, and the types of people who can sell them.
I am aware that there are already many regulations on the books with regard to gun ownership, but obviously they are not working. Today, there are 20 children whose deaths, unfortunately, can now attest to this.
Regulations need to be in place to diminish the possibility that these tragic occurrences in safe environments will occur. I am calling on you, as my representative, to stand up to the nay-sayers, to the fear-mongers out there, and to enact stricter laws on gun control. As a nation, we must do something, and the time is now.
I am not a left-wing radical, but a 68-year-old, college-educated father and grandfather, who considers himself an informed citizen. This is the first time I have felt so compelled to write to an elected representative. I hope that you will carry my flag of hope for a better America.
Robert Burge, Auburn