Letter to the editor: Treat assault rifles like ‘Tommy guns’

Banning AR15 assault weapons, which are intended for use in war, and limiting the purchase and use of guns by people who have demonstrated lack of ability to control themselves only makes sense.

In the 1930s, the violence by notorious gangsters was fueled by Thompson submachine guns, or Tommy guns, that fired up to 600 rounds in a minute. President Roosevelt pressed Congress to act on the National Firearms Act of 1934 AKA the “Anti-Machine Gun Bill.”

In the words of the then-Attorney General Homer Stilé Cummings in a House hearing on the bill, “A machine gun, of course, ought never to be in the hands of any private individual. There is not the slightest excuse for it, not the least in the world, and we must, if we are going to be successful in this effort to suppress crime in America, take these machine guns out of the hands of the criminal class.”

Today Tommy guns are still illegal without a special permit and not available for anyone to use in a crime, a racially motivated attack in a church, or an attack in an elementary school where nineteen children and two teachers are murdered.

AR15’s are today’s Tommy guns. Banning Tommy guns in 1934 did not result in the government coming after everyone’s guns as gun advocates fear. What has happened to us as a country that we cannot understand that sensitive gun legislation is good, not bad for the safety and freedom of our country and particularly our children?

Eileen Horton

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