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Letter: NRA stymies all efforts for sensible legislation

NRA stymies all efforts for sensible legislation

Our country has a long tradition with the shooting sports. The sporting guns sold today are designs that trace back 100 years or more, however, they are still considered among the best choices for hunting, target shooting and certainly adequate for self-defense.

The notable exception to this is the AR-15, a gun designed in the 1960s. A light, compact, fast-firing, high-capacity rifle, it was found to be deadly effective when it was introduced in the Vietnam War. It remains our military’s main battle rifle.

It is clear that while this gun has been a nightmare in the hands of civilians, it is the lifeblood of our declining gun industry. As of Sandy Hook, there were 55 makers of AR-15 rifles. Never before has a U.S. military rifle been copied in the civilian market in such vast numbers.

The National Rifle Association understands that a new ban on assault rifles will be another “nail in the coffin” of U.S. arms makers. This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment, but a make-or-break financial problem for our gun industry. The NRA is pulling out all the stops for its gun industry patrons.

A ban on AR-15 assault rifles would have little or no effect on today’s shooting sports. The pre-1960 designed guns are still thoroughly modern, the guns used by most sportsmen.

The NRA and Republican politicians have stymied all efforts for gun safety legislation. A cynic will see no prospect for meaningful change after the Columbine, Sandy Hook and now Parkland school shootings. With the courage of our high school students, this may well be the time.

Peter Leyonmark

Hamburg

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