Letter to Editor 1/4/13

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 4, 2013

Enforcement, enhancement of existing gun law would deter criminals

In the wake of the recent murder of twenty school children, the issue of gun control is again a primary topic of public debate. The foremost responsibility of any government is the protection of its citizens. However, fulfilling this responsibility does not in any way justify the disarming of law abiding citizens so as to strip them of their ability to protect their homes and families.

What a government concerned with protecting the lives of those it governs should do is to actually enforce those laws already in place to prevent persons who should not be allowed to possess firearms from doing so. Where proper our government should strengthen these laws provided that such does not merely serve to deprive law abiding citizens of their right to protect themselves and their families.

For example, Mississippi already has a law which prohibits persons who have been convicted of a felony from possessing a firearm, but do any of your readers recall a person actually serving a significant sentence for violating this law? Therefore, all law abiding citizens should call upon our elected officials to immediately begin active enforcement of this law and to strengthen it in order to deter and prevent criminals from possessing firearms which they could use to harm law abiding citizens.

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Requiring any felon convicted of being in possession of a firearm to serve a minimum of five years without the possibility of probation or early release would accomplish much. Persons convicted of a felony would be deterred from possessing firearms as a conviction for this crime would result in a minimum mandatory sentence. While persons who have no regard for the law would be removed from society and no longer be a threat to law abiding citizens.

This existing law should be modified to make the arrest and prosecution of anyone violating this law mandatory, removing any discretion in arresting the person found to be in violation of this law and to prevent the reduction of this charge to a lesser crime. Acting upon this proposal would make us safer without infringing upon the rights of a single law abiding citizen to protect themselves.

This is the view of one Christian American citizen and as such will not result in any change unless my fellow citizens join me in calling upon our state legislature to take the action I have proposed during the upcoming legislative session. I also urge my fellow citizens to call upon our senators and representatives in Congress to propose similar legislation for dealing with this problem on a national level without infringing upon the second amendment rights of law abiding American citizens.

Ray Garrett