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What's the Responsible and Moral Approach?

   Before writing this article on this topic, I searched the web for material. I found but a handfull of sites devoted to restricting the ownership and use of firearms, but near all sites promoting firearm use , and many anti-gun and firearm legislation sites. One statistic from 1996 says that 63% of Americans support legislation that would restrict the use and ownership of handguns. Also in 1996, 8 out of 10 firearm murders were committed with handguns. Also this 'News Info'
   Crime November 1995 RANDOM MURDERS, YOUNGER MURDERERS President Clinton celebrates the fact that the number of murders in the United States declined 7 percent from 1993 to 1994, but the fact remains that 23,730 people lost their lives in 1994..
   When aprox. 70% of murders are committed with firearms; that means 1,922 of them were by rifles or shotguns. Sorry NRA, but that is just way to high to ignore.
   It is true , guns don't kill; people do; but that is just a sweet sounding pass the buck idiom used only by people who think 'Me First, My rights before others safety'. And yes it is true that almost every legal gun and rifle owner is 'responsible' in the use and storage of his or her firearm, there still needs be a means to keep firearms out of the hands of the 'unresponsible'. How can this be done without infringing on the 'rights' of Joe American?
   To me personally the answer is morally and ethically clear. I will gladly give up the privilege of gun ownership to spare the life of just one other person. But then it is true ; I have no attraction to firearms.
   Two considerations do stand out. First is that the majority of handguns used in crime were originally purchased legally. Second is that the majority of rifles and shotguns used in acts of rage or passion, were stored safely and properly.
   The gun controll laws at present and the way they are being administered, are not controlling this problem. As to the handgun issue, where the majority of reasons for ownership is personal safety, a workable solution escapes me. As to rifles and shotguns; could they not be stored at a local gunclub, under signout regulations. They would still be available for sport use, but unavailable to children, and out of immediate reach to those in a temporary distraught state. Could possibly save 500 plus lives per year.

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Smith and Wesson agrees to safety locks
Associated Press article

Also; On the Gun Lobby side;

Smith & Wesson Agreement Violates Trust for Selfish Ends
The decision by foreign-owned handgun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson, to forge an agreement with the most anti-gun administration in our nation's history has violated a trust with their consumers and with the entire domestic firearms industry, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the world's largest firearms trade organization
For more than a year, the nation's major firearms manufacturers, including Smith & Wesson, have been in intense confidential discussions among themselves and with numerous government officials regarding the issues raised by lawsuits against the firearms industry.
"Smith & Wesson has taken a list of suggestions and initiatives that have been discussed in confidential industry talks and run off and cut their own deal with the Clinton Administration and a list of anti-gun government officials," commented Robert Delfay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Click here for full press release.

--More Than 20 Already Provide Locking Devices--
   The St. Patrick's Day pact between Smith & Wesson and the Clinton Administration has allowed the rebel firearms manufacturer to capture the spotlight for safety initiatives that many other handgun makers volunteered years ago, while jeopardizing a comprehensive series of new industry safety and crime prevention initiatives.
   According to the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute, more than 20 other major handgun and long-gun manufacturers already include free locking devices with their firearms. Most, according to the industry group, have been doing so for several years and at least one, Sturm, Ruger & Co., has been providing locking devices with its firearms for more than a decade. Go to full press release.


Founded in 1983, the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence is the legal action, research and education affiliate of Handgun Control. The Center builds bridges to law enforcement, educators, legal scholars, public health officials and health care providers, uniting diverse experts in a search for solutions to the gun violence epidemic.

Legal Action Project has made sure gun violence victims have their day in court. LAP’s attorneys provide free legal representation for victims in lawsuits against reckless gun manufacturers, dealers and owners.  The LAP now represents more than twenty cities and counties who are suing the gun industry to force them to make and distribute their products more responsibly, and is widely acknowledged as the most powerful legal adversary of the American gun industry.

More Americans are killed by firearms than by most well-known diseases.  Physicians and public health researchers have long considered gun violence a public health epidemic -- the Center’s research and education programs search for a cure. Those programs include:
Straight Talk About Risks ,
Steps to Prevent (stop) Firearm Injury, 
STOP 2, and
Project Lifeline, the Center's nationwide public education campaign.

Working with law enforcement agencies across the United States, the
Law Enforcement Relations department of the Center creates partnerships with the goal of reducing gun-related crimes and injuries.

The Center's Research department provides ongoing analysis of the public health data that shapes these programs, as well as groundbreaking studies of crime data that demonstrate that gun laws work.


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