Mr. George “Jody” Sweeney claims that I am essentially a stooge for the National Rifle Association (“What exactly are the solutions regarding gun control?” Dec. 4).
Nothing is further from the truth. While I am a proud life member of the oldest civil rights association in the United States, the views I express regarding the right to keep and bear arms are my own, developed through 40 years of listening and responding to political liberals, such as Mr. Sweeney.
Let me first answer Mr. Sweeney’s question, “So, come on, Mr. Hague, how about it? What are your solutions? Instead of saying that no gun control measures will work, what are your solutions?”
I mentioned the solution in my Opinion: Focus on the person, not the object (“Writer too focused on guns, rather than people using them,” Nov. 26). People commit crimes and may have mental health issues. They disregard the rights of others; the firearm doesn’t.
The Supreme Court did not say “AR”-style weapons are normalized. The court said they are in common use and are not considered dangerous and unusual. They also confirmed not only the position of the National Rifle Association but of myself, with the Bruen decision in June 2022.
I also think it is ironic that Mr. Sweeney, a member of Kent County Levy Court, doesn’t seem to know the difference between a constitutional right and a privilege. Every instance Mr. Sweeney mentioned as being commonplace is not protected by the state constitution. He seems to forget that our state constitution protects our individual right to keep and bear arms “for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use” (Article I, Section 20).
The positions that Mr. Sweeney advocates are actually extremist. Only 10 or so states have any laws regulating semi-automatic firearms, such as the AR-15 platform. Only eight states do not have “shall issue” laws dealing with the concealed carry of deadly weapons. Only seven or so states require a permit to purchase a firearm. So, the majority situation is not what Mr. Sweeney calls for. To date, 27 states have declared that, if you are a law-abiding citizen, you are not required to get permission from the government to carry a firearm, either concealed or in the open. What I am pointing out is that my position is not extremist; Mr. Sweeney’s is. My position is what the vast majority of people in the United States believe.
I never took the position or insinuated that “mass murders are commonplace and that we can do nothing to stop them, so we need to just get over it.” Actually, I resent his statement. I have advocated for years for measures that need to be taken to reduce violent crime, address drug and gang issues, and improve education. Not knowing me does not allow him to make assumptions.
Addressing some of his “solutions”: 1. Waiting periods have been found to have no impact on violent crime. 2. Delaware has had universal background checks since 2013. 3. Registration of firearms is prohibited by state and federal law for obvious reasons: to prevent the government from confiscating them. 4. Training as a requirement to purchase has been struck down by several federal and state courts. 5. There has always been age limits to purchase handguns. Only recently have long guns been included. 6. There are already laws against straw purchases, and purchases made at gun shows in Delaware must abide by federal and state law for background checks. 7. As with any object that can be dangerous if mishandled, a vast majority of people practice safety in the home. 8. Delaware has had one of the strongest red-flag laws in the country for six years. In fact, I wrote most of the legislation.
One observation that is relevant is that those states that have the most stringent laws dealing with firearms are home to the most violent cities, such as New York; Baltimore; Trenton, New Jersey; Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Atlanta; and Boston. How are those laws working out?
Solutions that Mr. Sweeney doesn’t list are dealing more effectively with drugs, gangs, the lack of effective education, the lack of prosecution of criminals by progressive socialist prosecutors and attorneys general (like the one here in Delaware), and no cash bail systems.
By the way, I believe Dayquil can be purchased over the counter; however, any antihistamines require proof of age because the ingredients are used to manufacture illegal drugs. Another instance where present society has fallen victim to liberal socialist policies.
President, Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association
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