Chronicle poll results: Assault-style weapons
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Chronicle poll results: Assault-style weapons

We asked our readers if the sale of assault-style weapons should be banned. Here's what they said.

Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “Should the sale of assault-style weapons be banned?” Of the 352 people who responded, 91% said yes and just 9% said no. Comments were submitted by 104 people. A few follow.

Mental health care is the issue. People can run a truck into a crowd and kill people. They can use knives and Molotov cocktails. They can use poison. Banning assault rifles makes people feel better, but it doesn’t solve the root of the problem. It doesn’t stop the hatred. Handguns kill more citizens daily, but these deaths don’t get attention.

This was done before, and it worked. The people who wrote the Constitution wrote “well-regulated” into the Second Amendment.

Repeal the Second Amendment and start over.

No need for private citizens to own these weapons.

No one except police or military need assault-type weapons. This issue is very personal for me since a family member of mine was murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre.

Assault-style weapons are designed for war. Whatever pleasure some might derive from handling them is clearly not worth the loss of the countless lives lost due to the capacity the shooter has. We know too well here in Pittsburgh the lethal impact they can have on our communities in the hands of white supremacists and others bent on killing innocent people.

This is a no-brainer. How many mass killings do we need to suffer before people understand this?

It’s not the weapon, it’s the user. There are way too many rifles of this type already in circulation worldwide to make any form of confiscation possible without a police-state type of house-to-house search nationwide. Completely impractical. Most are owned by honest users and the small percentage of misusers are known but no action is taken until it’s too late.

The odds of banning anything gun-related in the current environment are next to nothing. Sad, but realistic.

There is not a clear definition of assault-style weapon, but it’s a start. American gun violence is a deeper problem than just the equipment.

It’s a slippery slope to define what weapons “should” be banned. The reason is tyrants can only take over a population that is completely unarmed. It’s happened many, many times. It’s too easy to ban all guns, and then we are all sitting ducks. Furthermore, bad guys already have their “assault weapons.” Too late to take them away from the bad guys. There aren’t any easy or perfect solutions in this complicated situation.

If you think about the military intention behind these weapons, it is barbaric! Certainly, in the hands of civilians, they are incomprehensible!

Any firearm that can be used in self-defense should never be banned. It’s the shooter, not the gun. Jews are the last people who should ban any gun. PJC

Toby Tabachnick

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