Gun control helpful but misrepresented

I have several comments on the commentary written by Peter Morici ("The false security of gun-control measures," April 16).

The common conclusion from gun rights advocates, one that has become quite wearisome, seems to be that if every shooting incident, injury, or death cannot be precluded by gun-control measures, then why even bother. This is a bankrupt argument. Were one to follow this philosophy to its (il)logical conclusion, one would stop brushing one's teeth upon the discovery of a cavity. Or why bother with traffic laws since people die on the highway every day?

We should all rue the day that the term "assault rifle" commonly entered the lexicon. I can't think of a term in national discourse more misunderstood and misused — by both sides of the issue. Mr. Morici clearly infers that assault rifles ("semiautomatic rifles of the type used in Newtown...") are needed for protection in rural areas. This is not true. There must be at least 100 (non-assault) semiautomatic rifles on the market that can, in Mr. Morici's words, "fire multiple rounds quickly."

With all due respect to Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others, the inordinate emphasis on "assault weapons" has been woefully misdirected. The highly convoluted equation of the gun issue can be factored down to one term — magazine capacity, either rifle or handgun. Reduce it and save lives. And if a shooting incident occurs, and a life is lost, let us not throw our hands up and say, "Oh, what's the use."

David Mayhew, Cockeysville

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