Letter: Finding common ground

To the Editor:

I fear that discussions involving the topic of reasonable and sensible gun control laws will end in a stalemate, like discussions involving religion and politics. But with the staggering number of increased shootings and resulting deaths and injuries and the growing public outcry, there has to be some resolution, some compromise, some common ground that will result in new, sensible and effective gun control laws.

It is often said that if the killing of 20 children in Newtown cannot result in new, sensible gun control laws, nothing can. We cannot accept that. We just can’t.

Those relying on incorrect facts or taking extreme positions will not contribute toward any meaningful discussions or resolutions. It is neither fair, reasonable, nor realistic to expect new laws and legislation to ban all guns or radically limit their ownership. It is equally unfair, unreasonable and unrealistic to oppose new laws that address what appears to be a growing crisis involving gun purchases, ownership and use.

The 2008 landmark Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to possess and carry weapons for traditionally lawful purposes. However, Judge Antonin Scalia, a conservative, wrote that, “like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

Any limitations has to be fair, effective and sensible. How about even a good old common- sense approach? Is encouraging more gun ownership really the answer? Will that truly make our country safer if everyone is carrying a gun in his or her pocket, and is ready to use it at any moment in a crowded store, mall or movie theater?

I don’t think it’s just about the balancing of different interests on this issue. We also need to recognize that we share a common interest in the safety and well-being of the citizens of this great country, while still respecting the Second Amendment.

George M. Cohan

Peaceable Ridge, Jan. 8