On My Mind

Ban assault rifles, save lives

January 18, 2013 

The ongoing debate on the gun restrictions made me think of my youth after World War II in Frankfurt, Germany. We were in an American-occupied zone, and the very first thing the Americans did was to go from house to house in search of any weapons.

They went so far as to take all of my grandmother’s kitchen knives. Their thinking must have been that without guns, knives or any other weapons, we could not hurt them.

During this time, there were also plenty of crazies and plenty of fights about money, food, women and you name it. These fights were carried out with fists, sticks, bats and knives, and people did get hurt but, in general, walked away. There were no assault weapons in use.

I can fully understand a person wanting to protect his property and loved ones. But why would one need an assault weapon, which is designed to kill as many people as possible in a short period (as used in wars) versus a regular gun? Wayne LaPierre, vice president of the NRA , claims that an assault-weapon ban is not the answer, but instead proposes armed guards in the schools to protect the children.

My question is, where does it all stop? Do you also put armed guards in churches, kindergartens, daycare facilities and basically anywhere you have vulnerable people?

Then you have Sen. Lindsey Graham saying he owns an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and stands against another assault weapons ban. I wonder what he is doing with it, as it is definitely not a hunting rifle. Maybe he is protecting himself from his neighbors, or is it simply to say, “It is my right to own an assault weapon.” I just do not get it.

This holiday season raises more questions in me than I have answers. Here we are living in America, probably one of the most Christian nations in the world, proclaiming Jesus Christ and peace on earth, but the gun stores show record sales.

In Germany, a very secular country, where many people are not outwardly religious, you do not have all these killings and mass shootings. Germany does, however, have strict gun control laws.

Reinstituting the ban on assault weapons can only help to reduce these terrible tragedies. To accomplish this, it may take the silent folks out there to stand up and say “enough is enough.”

Hubert Emsermann is a resident of Rock Hill

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