John Hodge from Poplar Bluff wrote to YourTurn to add his opinion to the gun control debate. Here is what he had to say:
"Regarding the gun violence in this country and the national gun legislation issues, our leaders must first come to the realization of the most important fact which is: 'GUNS DON'T KILL – PEOPLE DO'; the quicker we realize and accept that fact the quicker we can reach a viable solution to the gun violence problems.
The United States Constitution 2nd Amendment was initially designed and passed to prevent a hostile takeover of our way of life by those who do not believe in the freedoms of men. I firmly believe that the 2nd Amendment should be left as it was first designed. Other laws can be put into effect and enforced to guarantee that weapons are not available to those individuals who have the potential to pose a threat to society. Only convicted felons and mentally unstable persons should be denied the right to acquire and/or possess firearms.
The individual right to bear arms in the United States should also be limited to United States citizens. Minors (under the age of 18) should only have the right to possess firearms after passing an in-depth course in weapons safety. I firmly believe that the right-to-carry concealed weapons should be limited to only those individuals over the age of 18 who have taken and passed a weapons safety course and have also passed a rigorous background check.
Furthermore, given the state of our current technological capabilities, there should be more emphasis placed on establishing a new set of laws limiting the distribution of the extremely violent movies and violent video games to minors and the mentally unstable. If our small children, as well as those individuals who are mentally challenged, did not have open access to an unlimited supply of violent video games and movies they would be less likely to develop the tendency to commit violent acts of their own. By simply limiting access to these violent movies and video games now, we can reduce the horizon of possibilities for future acts of violence."
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