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posted: 12/30/2012 5:00 AM

Reduce guns for the common good

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Let Newtown lead to major action. The time has come when we should treat the registration of guns as seriously as we treat the registration of automobiles. We should know at least as much about the person who buys a gun as we know about the person who buys a car. If a gun is sold we need to know the identity of the new buyer.

All existing guns should be registered. The sale of assault and semiautomatic weapons to the general public should be banned. I would personally favor confiscation of such weapons from the general public, perhaps with a mandatory sale to law enforcement or the military. The financial penalties for noncompliance should be major and multiple violations classified as felonies.

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Follow the money. Gun manufacturers and gun dealers are the force behind the gun lobby. True sportsmen have nothing to fear. If someone wants a pistol for personal safety they are free to have one, but remember the vast majority of people killed by guns in the home are family members, not intruders.

The shooter in Newtown obviously had serious mental health problems. More and more people are becoming aware of the need for intervention with people with serious social adjustment problems. Sadly, budgets for coping with mental health problems are being slashed, not strengthened. Where are our values? Don't we all need to be willing to sacrifice for the common good?

R. Kent Kirkwood

Mount Prospect

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