KQV AM 1410

KQV Editorial

Time to Eliminate the Sale of Assault Weapons!

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     With the surge of mass killings and the arsenal of guns of all types being assembled by individuals, gangs, and anti-social groups across this country, there is a growing outcry for greater gun control.


     When the subject of gun control comes up, the NRA, National Rifle Association, and other gun advocates use the Constitution as the right to bear arms as their defense.


     We in Pittsburgh have been witness to a number of killings by guns, including the recent ambush shooting of three police officers.

We understand that there is strong argument for the purchase and ownership of rifles by hunters and target shooting, but we believe there is no legitimate or logical argument for the sale of assault weapons to individuals other than the military or the police.


     There is no reason why any law-abiding United States citizen needs to own or use assault rifles.  None –absolutely none.  Assault weapons are not designed or manufactured for individuals; not hunters…not target shooters…not gun collectors.


     These assault weapons do serve a purpose in the military and the police force.  But unfortunately, we’ve seen too many assault weapons fall into the hands of criminals, emotionally-disturbed people, and anti-social organizations.  Almost daily we hear of frightening cases when an unstable person has gotten his hands on an assault weapon and slaughtered dozen of people.


     The three policemen who were recently murdered in Stanton Heights were killed by an emotionally-disturbed 22-year old man using a AK-47 assault rifle.


     The general outcry is…use existing laws to stamp out the sale and distribution of this type of weapon.  Unfortunately, despite these existing laws, there still are ways for their legal purchase by anyone…including that mentally-disturbed man who killed the three local policemen.


     An AK-47 fires a high-powered cartridge as fast as a person can pull a trigger and can be equipped with 30, 40, and even 75-round magazines.


     Gun manufacturers and the NRA say the banning of assault rifle-type weapons will lead eventually to the banning of all sporting guns.  But how they categorize assault weapons as sporting guns is totally beyond us.


     Unfortunately, we are reaching a point where criminals and gangs have become better armed than the police and those who protect public safety.  To this end, we think new legislation is needed to take the assault weapons off the gun dealer’s shelf.  In our opinion, they should be outlawed entirely for sale to the general public.  It won’t stop the irrational gun nuts, bur it should slow them down a little until they, hopefully, return to their senses!


Robert W. Dickey


KQV Newsradio
April 17, 18, 19, 2009

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Unfortunately, Mr. Dickey is showing his ignorance regarding assault weapons. First, no assault weapon has been used in any killing of police in Pittsburgh. Assault-style weapons are civilian-legal versions of military firearms. These weapons do, indeed have legitimate use. Among which are in high power military matches, selfe-defense and, in some states legal for hunting with a five shot clip. Fully automatic assault weapons are also legal but highly restricted in their purchase and ownership. The firearms industry in the United States is the most regulated industry. Over 4000 laws exist to regulate sale and possession of firearms. The purchase and ownership of firearms is illegal for anyone who is dishonorably discharged from the military. If the current laws were enforced the recent tragedy, in Pittsburgh would have been prevented. To neglect to enforce the current laws and add nore unenforced laws will only burden citizens who obey such laws. By their very nature criminals and those with criminal intent will not obey even the most stringent laws. Persons who are dishonorably discharged from the military and those with mental illness will likewise refuse to obey those laws. It is up to us, society, to strictly enforce the existing gum laws. Please Mr. Dickey, before you say assault style weapons do not have a legitimate purpose do your research. I usually agree with your commentary or at least recognize your viewpoint but this morning I was shocked and very disappointed by your total lack of knowledge regarding this subject.
-Willis, Pittsburgh, PA
Mr Dickey, I am a long time KQV listener and have long applauded your commentaries - to the extent at times that I've emailed the text to friends and business associates nationwide with pride that such common sense lives right next to me. Today, however, I was shocked at your harsh rhetoric and knee-jerk reaction at the crimes that have plagued us recently namely: the use of such said "Assault Weapons". Yesterday I listened to KQV and its "history minute" to find the day of my 15th Wedding Anniversary was also an anniversary to George Washington's swearing-in and the catastrophic dozens of killings at the University a few years back by a student. I am an NRA Life Member, hunter, husband, father and firearms owner. Never, ever, have I had the most minute intention of doing anyone harm. Here is my problem with what you propose: where do we draw the line? I have a hunting rifle that is legal to use in neighboring and western states that IS a semi-automatic rifle - which like an "Assault Rifle" can fire 5 shots as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger. Isn't that, per your comments, an "Assault Rifle"? One may say there is no need for a hunting rifle that can fire fast follow-up shots at game? Indeed there is - the use of such offers fast second and tertiary shots to dispatch a wounded animal before it can run into brush or forest and die left to rot with it's meat unretrievable for table fare and good use. As the former AG Ashcroft stated in his trials before Senate. The use and ownership of firearms is requisite to a free state. To which Sen. Kennedy asked if Ashcroft was referring to "this government". It has long been the cry "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!". What if we the people need to take back our country that is overcome by a rogue government? I doubt and pray that I, nor my 4 year old son, does not see it in our days. But what if? What recourse does the law-abiding, Constitution-loving people of this country do if...they are powerless? Let us call the killings what they were: baseless, senseless, horrific, pitiful, cowardly and downright disgusting. My prayers and love are extended to the families of our three fallen police. I cannot imagine the heartache the mothers have every evening consoling their children over their lost hero father. Respectfully submitted, Bill
-William , United States
Mr. Dickey- You have just lost a listener and, possibly, an advertiser. This is the most thoughtless editorial in some time. Your opinion lacks common sense, reasoning, and any depth of thought. Gun control advocates continue to pattern the argument as if the citizenry needs guns only for hunting and sportsmanship. The right to bear arms also gives citizens power against foreign enemies and domestic tyranny. Foreign threats against our Democracy have stated in numerous past conflicts that they have hesitated to fight on our soil because of the armed citizens of this great nation. That is just one example of why we should not remove another constitutional right of this republic. That evil man, Poplasky, should, if found guilty of the crimes against our great police force, be put to death. But, evil killed those officers, not the weapon of choice. To remove our citizens' rights to bear arms, will leave only those who look to further act out evil with their weapons of choice. They will be armed, legally or illegally, regardless. Gun control has been tried repeatedly and every example has shown it to be a failure. Your opinion has no merit and you have used your public forum disgracefully.
I am dismayed at how unbalanced and unthoughtful Mr. Dickey's editorial words were on gun control. His spoken emphasis on "AK-47", was disturbing, as if it were the evil behind the violence. I contend that our emphasis should be on correcting the hearts and minds of men, not on taking away freedom. The ultimate extension of taking away freedom would lead to a police state that would solve little. Men can, and do, kill with lesser weapons. God, who is infinitely more intelligent than man, has permitted man the freedom to make choices, with serious eternal consequences, of course. Our wise Founding Fathers established rights guided by Judeo-Christian principles that formed our Country and our Constitution. I wish we had more of their types living today.
-richard , pittsburgh, pa
Sir, with due respect to your personal opinion I have to inform you that I strongly disagree. Rifles such as AKs can be used responsible by citizens and collectors alike there are already restrictions on the fact that they are only allowed to be semi-automatic not fully automatic. This opens a box that the government has no right to interfere with because there are also many semi-automatic rifles and shotguns and handguns available for sport and hunting once they get there hands on one the rest will follow and as a man of intellect I am sure you realize this. Another point I will make besides it is the right of any capable and legal citizen to own and bear arms is though I highly respect the officers that died and any officer for that matter this was not an issue of firepower it was lack of communication and coordination. I have seen the officers in the video when this played out and they seemed to have appropriate arms as many had machine guns and when it comes to military and police officials I believe they have the automatic version so they were not out gunned as you say. Finally if you truly believe they are rather than force your views on the 98% of citizens that follow the rules why not turn to the government to give our soldiers and police the equipment necessary to do the job they have to do. And please Sir if you respond do not tell me the money is not there if you truly follow what goes on see where all of our money is being wasted and then tell me if you feel good about paying higher taxes.

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