Letter: Balentine's pro-gun argument is worn out

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Using many of the same tired tropes that the NRA and gun enthusiasts use as straw men arguments, John Balentine doesn’t propose anything new, but rehashes the same arguments that have enabled mass shooters to easily acquire the weapon of choice of mass shooters everywhere. Unfortunately “everywhere” pretty much only applies to the U.S., as no other country has suffered the level of mass death by assault-style weapons as we have. Phrases like “take guns away and only criminals will have guns,” roll off the tongue nicely, but don’t have a precedent in the earlier assault weapons ban in the U.S. or reflect the reality in other societies.

In the chaos of a firefight, veterans will tell you, actually hitting one’s target is very difficult. Also in that chaos police will tell you, as will experience, identifying the shooter is difficult – so much so in those cases that when guns have been wrestled away from the primary shooter, the last person holding the gun has sometimes become a victim, mistaken by police as the shooter.

Making obtaining assault-style weapons much more difficult to acquire and supply is at the very least as valid a strategy to deny mass shooters their weapon of choice as putting teachers, school employees and students in greater danger by encouraging more firing and more lead tearing through the air.

Stephen Demetriou
South Portland