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    Posted January 10, 2013 by
    Sebastopol, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun control debate: Background checks

    More from Les3547

    The Underrepresented Gun Owner


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Les3547 told me, 'I would like to see the attitudes of the silent majority prevail; that is, to have effective gun controls, but also not to demonize guns or gun owners in the process (the newspaper that published gun owner personal info was a misguided sentiment that makes it harder to reassure extremist types who think people are trying to take away their guns).'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Rather unrepresented in the public gun debate is the large percentage of gun owners like myself who fall, philosophically and in practice, between paranoid gun nuts and far left purists ready to cleanse the US of all guns.

    I started out as a reluctant gun owner, reluctant because of a personal commitment to living as a peaceful man. But due to residing for years in a rural area, the number of criminals with guns, the growing incidents of home invasion, and the United States’ world leadership in drug abuse (and resulting drug crazies), I was finally convinced to prepare for the worst.

    Now that I own several guns I do feel better prepared for such dangers. I’ve also come to enjoy target shooting and even, as a guy who likes cool technology and precision mechanics, to appreciate the craftsmanship found in a fine gun. I do not want my guns taken away, or my name and address published by a local newspaper as though I am irresponsible toward society.

    However, I do want effective gun control, and I hope it's a lot more than banning high-capacity magazines.

    I fully support a national registration data base so there is a record of all guns sold to whom and where they are located, universal background checks, a waiting period after the check, Ruger-like safety features on guns and safety training, an end to straw sales and gun show loopholes, limiting the ability to acquire a new gun to one per month . . .  And given that a large percentage of gun crime is committed with illegally-obtained guns, serious jail time should be handed out to people who in any way, shape or form are part of selling and/or distributing guns illegally.

    Most importantly, I think we need federal enforcement of all the above, otherwise the difference in laws and enforcement between states will continue to be an avenue for the flow of guns into illegal sales.

    I believe a great many gun owners would agree to most of those controls if that's what it takes for a safer country, but no one in the public eye is speaking for us. The radicals, as usual, are dominating the stage and giving the impression that gun owners are a bunch of distrustful, obsessed survivalists readying themselves for battle with their government.

    I am not passionate enough about guns to do more than write this little editorial, yet I am fed up with gun extremists' representation of the pro-gun side of the discussion. I worry their bizarre rationales and uncompromising mien will ruin it for the average gun owner who humbly appreciates the privilege of gun ownership the constitution is still interpreted to allow.

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