VOICES: Weapons of war do not belong in our communities

Tony Klimek is an engineer from West Chester, Ohio.

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Tony Klimek is an engineer from West Chester, Ohio.

Editor’s Note: We have received a large number of submissions following the tragic events in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX. Ideas & Voices is committed to giving space to readers’ perspectives. If you are interested in providing a 150-200 word letter to the editor or a 500-600 contributed column on this topic, please email your submission to edletter@coxohio.com.

Weapons of war do not belong in civilized communities.

Assault rifles are weapons of war; they are designed to create terror, inflict mass casualties and kill many people quickly. They do not belong in a civilized society and American civilians do not have the right to own and use them.

There are limits to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment grants the people the right to bear arms in a well-regulated militia; it does not give private citizens the right to own and use weapons of war. In the United States, private citizens are not permitted to own and use grenade launchers, anti-aircraft guns and other mass-casualty weapons; and they should not be permitted to own and use assault rifles to kill and maim children and civilians.

ExploreVOICES: It’s past time to do something, Gov. DeWine

In pursuit of profits, power and campaign contributions, gun manufacturers, the NRA and the Republican Party have corrupted the purpose of the Second Amendment with the absurd idea that there are no limits to the weaponry that they can sell to Americans and that there is a “civilian” version of an assault rifle. Adolf Hitler and the German military developed the assault rifle as part of their war machine and it was an effective military weapon — it inflicted terror and mass casualties across Europe during WWII.

Unfortunately, the gun lobby, the NRA and the Republican Party have unleashed this weapon of war on American society. As recent events have shown, children and civilians have no defense against the assault rifle. The ridiculousness of the NRA saying that the “only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” was recently shown to be utterly false when 19 good guys with guns (police officers) waited outside a classroom while one lone bad guy with a civilian assault rifle slaughtered innocent children. History has clearly shown that one bad guy with a civilian assault rifle cannot be quickly stopped by a good guy with a gun.

Another concept proposed by Republicans and gun safety opponents to make communities safer is to put more guns in schools by arming teachers. More guns in the hands of civilians will not make schools safer. It will create war zones within our schools and communities.

The Republican party and NRA have addressed the problem of gun violence against themselves by prohibiting assault rifles and other weapons within their convention gatherings. American school children and civilians deserve the same security measure.

Weapons of war, including assault rifles, in the hands of civilians should be prohibited from our society.

ExploreVOICES: What we are doing is absolutely not working

Our children and all members of our community deserve the freedom and the right to live their lives. We need to elect political leaders with the courage to “Do Something.”

The need to satisfy the gun lobby and maintain their power is preventing our state government from taking action. Governor DeWine recently said he will not propose laws that he believes will not pass the Republican legislators that are supported by the gun lobby. In other words, he will take no steps to restrict weapons of war from our society as long as gun lobby makes more campaign contributions than the casualties of their products.

Our congressional representatives and Senators also need to take action; the “thoughts and prayers” of gun safety opponents are not getting the job done.

If the current gun safety opponents in power refuse to act, we need new leadership to take action and start to demilitarize our communities. It is time to stop the sale of assault rifles and begin the long process of taking weapons of war out of our communities and returning sanity to America.

We owe it to our children and our future.

Tony Klimek is a practicing civil engineer and an active member of his community in West Chester.

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