Guns, Long And Short
WE CONCUR with all that the majority editorial says; we feel, however, that it does not go far enough. For if it is barbarous to live in a nation that allows handguns, it is also barbarous to live in one that condones the use of other firearms. We advocate an end to the manufacture, sale and possession of all guns, including rifles. We advocate the immediate confiscation of all existing firearms.
In the first place, an end to the production, sale and possession of all guns, including rifles would make it harder for anyone, including criminals, to get weapons. If hand-guns are eliminated, crimes of passion will decrease; if all weapons are eliminated, even premeditated crime will go down. It is worth-while noting that many of the most heinous murders of our age, including the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, were committed with rifles. These men would not have been so easily killed if strict rifle controls had been in place.
Those who argue that hunting is a socially benign use of long-barrelled guns could be right; even if they are, the sport of some is not justified if even a few innocent people die as a result.
Gun control is as much a moral issue as a practical one. We hope very much that steps will be taken towards control of firearms, even if such control is only partial. But we think it is morally inconsistent to argue that rifles are less barbarous than handguns. We look to the day when the public will have no cause to fear either.