Letter: We regulate traffic; why not firearms?

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Almost every town has a dangerous intersection that has a higher-than-average rate of traffic accidents. Traffic engineers come up with safety schemes to reduce the number of accidents at these intersections. They include things like reducing the speed limit and putting in stop signs or lights. These measures are not perfect. Drivers still speed and run stop lights. But the rate of accidents is reduced.

There are very few critics of these safety schemes. No one criticizes them for being imperfect, or for somehow representing an infringement of their rights.

Yet when a modest proposal to require universal background checks for firearms is proposed, the critics come out of the woodwork. You would think that the proposal would somehow infringe on people’s right to bear arms. This is nonsense.

What is troubling is that these critics seem to have no regard for the thousands of innocent lives that are lost to gun violence. They seem to think that their right to bear arms is an absolute right, even above the right of others to their lives. We have a moral obligation to staunch the blood that flows from our overly lax gun laws. Requiring universal background checks is a reasonable and modest step in the right direction.

Fred W. Nehring