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Our view: Gun owners should back new limits

President Barack Obamaccompanied by Vice President Joe Biden left hugs eight-year-old letter writer Grant Fritz during news conference proposals reduce

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, left, hugs eight-year-old letter writer Grant Fritz during a news conference on proposals to reduce gun violence, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington. Obama and Biden were joined by law enforcement officials, lawmakers and children who wrote the president about gun violence following the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., last month. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Updated: February 21, 2013 6:28AM



When it comes to guns in America, there is no slippery slope. There is no chance, and never will be, that stricter regulations on guns will lead in time to wholesale bans and confiscation.

The National Rifle Association would have you believe otherwise. The NRA would have you believe that even the most commonsense proposed gun control measures, such as a criminal background check on anybody who buys a gun, will lead to a day when crazy lefties and jack-booted federal agents crash down your door to take away your deer rifle.

But that will never happen. The Second Amendment will never allow it. The American people will never go for it.

Guns will always have a place in American culture, for purposes of protection, hunting, target shooting and collecting. And the sooner that truth becomes more widely understood and accepted, despite the bogeyman talk of the NRA, the sooner reasonable steps can be taken to reduce the use of guns to slaughter our children and commit everyday crimes.

Gun owners and gun opponents can and must find common ground.

President Barack Obama said as much Wednesday in urging Congress to pass several new gun control measures: “The only way we can change is if the American people demand it.”

We only wish Obama had driven that point home by sharing the stage with police officers and hunters and other legal gun owners — hardly the anti-gun zealots of NRA nightmares — who agree with him on the need for greater controls.

Gun-owning proponents of reasonable gun limits are out there, in large numbers even, and their voices need to be heard.

The fact that the horror of 20 first-graders being mowed down did not stir a far greater demand for stricter gun control is perhaps proof of the effectiveness of propaganda by the NRA.

Ignore the extremism of the NRA.

Gun owners can safely stand up for gun control, too. It is time more of them did.

Sun-Times Media



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