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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Paul Rawlings: Smart guns - gun locks - secure gun cases - gun related deaths

  • The University of Chicago’s Crime lab reports over 4 million “gun related deaths” in the U.S from 1973 to 2012.
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  • The University of Chicago’s Crime lab reports over 4 million “gun related deaths” in the U.S from 1973 to 2012.  A 4 year old child who accidentally kills himself with a loaded gun his mother stored in a shoe box is a gun related death but it is not a “crime” or a “homicide” and would not be included in a crime or homicide report thereby causing some confusion concerning the number of gun related deaths.
     
    Smart or personalized guns are guns which are equipped with technology such as RFID chips, fingerprint recognition, grip recognition, or magnetic devices which render a gun harmless in the hands of anyone other than the gun owner.
     
    Smith and Wesson developed one of the first smart guns in 1975.  Other developers of smart guns using various technologies are: Colt Manufacturing, Mossburg, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Trigger Smart in Ireland, A U.S. and Austrian Company, and  Armatrix a German Company. 
     
    Free gun locks are available at hundreds of police stations, fire stations and other organizations and may be purchased at Wal-Mart for as little as $3.98.   Secure gun cases may be purchased at Wal-Mart and from hundreds of other merchants.  
     
    How many of the 4 million people killed with guns between 1973 and 2012 do you believe would be alive today if:  (1) all guns manufactured in America during that period  had been equipped with smart gun or personalized gun technology (2) All guns in America not equipped with smart gun technology were equipped with gun locks (3) All guns in America during that period had been kept in secure gun cases.
     
    The guns used at the Sandy Hook School, Westside Jonesboro, Arkansas School, Thurston Oregon High School were not owned by the killers, were not kept in a locked gun case and were not equipped with smart gun technology.  How many of the children killed in these school tragedies do you believe would be alive today if (1) the guns used had been equipped with smart gun technology (2) had been kept in a locked gun case accessible only to the owner (3) had been equipped with gun locks.
     
    Would America have fewer gun killings if we had laws requiring (1) all guns manufactured or sold in the U.S to be equipped with smart gun technology (2) guns not equipped with smart technology must have gun locks (3) all guns must be kept in a secure gun case accessible only by the owner.
     
    Members of the NRA send in over $100 million dollars a year in membership dues which Wayne LaPierre uses to defeat any attempt to make guns safe and defeat any politician that does not vote the NRA line 100% of the time.  When Colt and Smith & Wesson produced a smart gun they were boycotted by the NRA.
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    Americans have two clear choices on lowering gun violence and reducing the number of gun killings.
     
    You can support and send YOUR money to the NRA to pay LaPierre’s a million dollar salary, to continue blocking production of guns equipped with smart gun technology as it has done for the last 30 years, to defeat all common sense gun safety laws, to contribute  YOUR money to politicians of LaPierre’s choice,  to spread misinformation about YOUR Second  Amendment rights and to spread misinformation about those supporting common sense safety laws on guns.
     
    Or you can support the parents whose children were Killed at Sandy Hook School who have formed an organization called Sandy Hook Promise Technology Committee To Reduce  Gun Violence.  This organization with 30 star technology investors expect to raise $15 million dollars in the next year to reduce gun violence and reduce the number of  people killed in America with guns.
     
    Before making your choice please study the information on gun violence and make your choice based on facts not fear or falsehoods. Please remember  military assault weapons were created TO KILL more people in combat faster—not to hunt squirrels,  Gun manufacturers make guns for one purpose and one purpose only—TO MAKE MONEY.   Gun manufacturers have spent millions and perhaps billions of dollars over the past 30 years to SELL more guns and have opposed all efforts to make guns and their use safer. The latest example of defeating laws to make guns safer was when the U.S Senate on April 17 defeated a bill to require gun purchasers to have background checks by a 54 to 46 vote.  Numerous polls show 90% of all Americans approved this background check law.
     
    Please choose wisely as your life, the life of a family member or the life of your friend may depend on the choice you make.
     
    (Paul Rawlings of Heber Springs contributes monthly to the editorial pages of The Sun-Times)
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