YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Rebutting NRA Stand on Handguns

September 28, 1986

Betty Cuniberti's article portraying the courage, humor and dignity with which Jim and Sarah Brady have handled an avoidable tragedy brought about by the easy availability of a handgun to a disturbed young man was excellent ("The Struggles Continue for Jim Brady Family," Sept. 7).

I rather imagine anyone would react with a certain amount of emotion, even Richard Gardiner of the National Rife Assn. Since he favors an intellectual response, a good way to start would be to avoid offering NRA opinions as if they were established facts. The fact is that John W. Hinckley Jr. got a handgun rather easily and we all know what he did with it. Gardiner's speculations as to what would have happened in the face of legal restrictions on handguns are not facts.

Further facts are:

--Many avoidable tragedies take place daily involving handguns.

--Many foreign countries with more restrictions have fewer such tragedies.

--The courts have ruled many times that restrictions on the availability of handguns do not violate Second Amendment rights.

--Most handgun victims are shot by people they know.

--Most people who buy handguns for protection never get a chance to use them, nor are they properly trained.

The NRA stance that the Constitution makes it absolutely impossible for us to protect ourselves from the easy availability of handguns is an intellectual bind, if anything.

And as far as an untrained householder protecting himself with a handgun is concerned, what are his chances when you consider that all the trained guards around the President and Jim Brady couldn't protect them?


San Diego

Los Angeles Times Articles