Monday, December 11, 2006

They printed it!

My letter made it into the paper!

NOTED anti-gun-owner researcher Daniel Webster wrote in his Nov. 30 letter that he believes the "licensing" of Pennsylvania handgun owners will assist prosecutors and police in combating crimes involving illegal handguns.

Webster undoubtedly refers to a system of mandatory background checks on the license holder since the only rational purpose of licensing is to ensure the pre-screening of prospective gun owners for disqualifying factors. So he should be happy to note that in Pennsylvania since the 1940s, anyone who wants to buy a handgun from a gun store, or from anyone other than an immediate family member, must submit to a state police background check before taking possession of the gun.

After 1993, this process was expanded to include an additional FBI background check. If both of these checks come back clean, information on the buyer and his gun is then recorded in a database that state law enforcement may peruse whenever needed. I'm sure Webster will be relieved to learn that Pennsylvania already has a system of "licensing and registration" of its handgun owners.

Karan Singh, Cochranville, Pa.

Since my earlier letters got c-filed, most likely because of my Maryland home address, I used the PA address for the in-laws' second home. I guess it worked . . . . Webster needed to hear it, I'm glad I got to say it.

Another letter was in the same paper:

Daniel Webster of the Center for Gun Policy and Research cleverly sandwiches his agenda between two commonsense ideas.

Most gun owners do support laws designed to keep guns from criminals, one of the reasons we already have so many laws on the books! I join with Mr. Webster, columnist John Baer and many others in applauding the plan to bolster the police presence in areas with high rates of shootings.

But Mr. Webster's anti-gun agenda becomes obvious when he inserts the usual rhetoric. Requiring licenses, having purchase restrictions and handing control of firearms regulation to the city would do nothing to stem the tide of bloodshed here. A large percentage of this year's murders are apparently drug-related. Drugs are already illegal. It's already against the law to carry a firearm without a permit. And I think I remember reading that, in most circumstances, it's illegal to shoot people.

Tom McCourt, Philadelphia

Thanks, Tom, wherever you are . . . .


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